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Need to Work on Converting Chances into Goals Ahead of Tokyo Olympics: Lalit Upadhyay

Lalit Upadhyay (Photo Credit: Hockey India)

Lalit Upadhyay (Photo Credit: Hockey India)

Indian men's hockey team forward Lalit Upadhyay pointed out the area when they need to work ahead of Tokyo Olympics.

Indian men’s hockey team forward Lalit Upadhyay feels that the players need to work on converting more chances into goals ahead of the Tokyo Olympics scheduled to open on July 23. In the recent Argentina tour, the Indian team scored 12 goals in four practice matches and five goals in two FIH Pro League games against the Olympic Champions, but Lalit said there is still room for improvement as nine goals came via penalty corners. “The matches against Argentina were high-scoring games and it’s never easy to convert field goals against a team like Argentina who are quite strong in their defence," said Lalit, who scored in India’s 3-0 win against Argentina in the FIH Pro League tie.

“Over these last few months, we have really worked a lot on converting goals as well as creating penalty corners. We have also focused on how we must work our way into the circle from the 25m mark," he added.

Lalit said the team can be a bit sharper while taking chances inside the circle.

“This is something we are focusing on during our on-going camp," he said.

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He said the team can win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics despite facing several challenges in the lead up to the Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All of us in the core group believe this (Tokyo Olympics) is our best shot at a medal and we continue to work towards that mission despite whatever challenges we may have to face in the lead up.

“Our focus will be on maintaining our fitness level, avoiding any injuries and we will be creating match scenarios in our practice sessions where we will work on different tactics," he said.

Lalit emphasised that having a centralised training facility like the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre in Bengaluru has been a boon in these unprecedented times.

“We are truly lucky to be in a facility like SAI Centre, Bengaluru where our training goes on undisturbed, and we have the best facilities. We also have an exclusive gym now for hockey which has been very helpful," he said.

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first published:May 04, 2021, 16:18 IST