One of the architects of India’s superb show against Argentina, young goalkeeper Krishan Pathak said he wants to be in top form for the Tokyo Olympics and is eyeing another superlative performance against Great Britain in the FIH Pro League games next month. The 23-year-old, who earned his 50th international cap during India’s tour of Argentina, played a big role in his side registering back-to-back wins against the reigning Olympic champions in the FIH Pro League this month.
“I am very happy to have completed fifty international caps. So much has happened in such a short space of time. I have had the opportunity to play in big tournaments and learnt a lot from my seniors," said Pathak in a release issued by Hockey India. “The coaches have always believed in my talent. I want to continue working hard and win games for India. Reaching this milestone makes me proud," he added. In the Argentina tour that conclude on Wednesday, India defeated the hosts in a two-leg FIH Pro League away tie.
While fellow custodian PR Sreejesh was brilliant when the visitors won the first match via a penalty shoot-out, Pathak was equally impressive during India’s 3-0 win over the hosts in the second game. “I got to learn a lot from the Argentina tour. I know I have to prove my worth as a goalkeeper every time I am playing," said Pathak, who had earned the Player of the Match award after pulling off some great saves to maintain a clean sheet in the 2nd game.
“I feel we showed a lot of fight and character there. Over the past year, we’ve had good games against the top sides in the world and I feel that gives us the right kind of boost going into a tournament like the Olympics." India will next play Great Britain in the FIH Pro League on May 8 and 9. “We have to be focussed on the job at hand right now. Hope our good form continues against Great Britain…," Pathak said. With 15 points from eight games, India climbed to the fourth place in the FIH Hockey Pro League standings following their wins over Argentina. India, Argentina and Australia will play each other at the forthcoming Olympic Games, where they have been drawn in Pool A alongside Spain, New Zealand and home favourites Japan. “We have to make sure we’re ready for every challenge. The environment in the camp is good and we want to use this momentum going into a big summer," Pathak said.
For much of his young career, Pathak has been Sreejesh’s understudy at goal and thinks the competition for places has only made him a better goalkeeper. “There’s so much one can learn from Sreejesh bhai. He’s been playing at the highest level for so many years," he said. “I have improved as a keeper in the last four years and that is because of what I have gathered and learnt watching people like Sreejesh and others play and train on a daily basis."