The Indian women’s hockey team’s recent tours to Argentina and Germany have been crucial in their preparations for the Olympic Games, feels experienced defender Deep Grace Ekka.

“Playing against Argentina and Germany, both highly ranked in the world, with very different and unique playing styles has been very helpful in planning the areas we need to improve in the days leading up to the Olympics,” said Grace.

“Argentina plays man-to-man, and their style is quite conventional. Personally for me, playing against Germany was quite intriguing because of their style and attacking game. There was a lot to learn about how the German players communicate on the field and how they create space in pursuit of circle entries. Their attack is aggressive, they are quick and think on their feet,” she said.

Grace feels this experience against Germany will help them take on world No. 1 the Netherlands in their opening match at the Olympic Games.

“I felt that Germany and Netherlands have very similar styles. They tackle two-on-one and the way they attack is very similar. I feel we have gained a lot of confidence playing against Argentina and Germany. We have no inhibitions or fear in our mind when we play these top teams now and another key element has been our fitness. We don’t tire easily anymore and that will help us bounce back in the game and finish well even if there are early setbacks,” she said.

–IANS

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