Analysing Pro League games to prepare for Olympics: Sumit

Indian men’s hockey team midfielder Sumit said on Wednesday that the team is “closely watching the ongoing FIH Pro League matches” in Europe to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics in July.

India were scheduled to travel to Europe this month to play a series of Pro League games but the matches were postponed due to restrictions on travel from the country due to rising Covid-19 cases.

“We have been closely watching the teams which are currently playing their Pro League matches. We are analysing their style of play and structure to use them during our practice sessions,” said Sumit, who is training with the squad at the Sports Authority of India’s centre at Bengaluru.

“We create the same match scenarios or use a particular team’s structure during our internal practice games. It’s really effective, and we are trying to make the most out of it,” added Sumit, who has played 66 matches for the national side.

The 24-year-old player, who was a member of the team during the successful tour of Argentina for the Pro League in April, said the wins against the reigning Olympic champions was an indication that India’s preparations for the Olympics were on the “right path”.

“The results from the recent tours (Europe and Argentina) reflect that we are on the right path for the Olympics. However, we should play (more) attacking hockey, and try to convert the chances we get in the first 3-5 minutes, so that we can capitalise on the early leads.

“Comparing both the European and Argentina tour, I feel there has been a constant improvement, and we are working hard to maintain this consistency. On a personal level also, I think I can play more attacking hockey,” he said.