Long stint in Bengaluru reason behind success: Hockey forward Gurjant

Indian men’s hockey forward Gurjant Singh feels the amount of time the boys spent together at the Bengaluru camp during the pandemic had helped them “build a natural understanding” and that was the reason behind the teams recent success.

India recently beat Olympic champions Argentina in both FIH Pro Hockey League games besides winning two of the four practice games.

The Indian men’s and women’s hockey squads have been training at the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) centre at Bengaluru for more than a year.

Singh, who has played 47 matches for India, said: “We all have been together at the camp since one year, and I don’t think any other team would have spent this much time together during the lockdown. I feel that is one of the plus points that everyone has been together for such a long time.

“After the nationwide lockdown ended, we never stopped training. We kept working hard and kept on communicating with each other throughout the time spent together. I think it has built a natural understanding among us and because of that, the team has been working as a unit. So, that’s one of the biggest reasons behind our successful tours to Europe and Argentina,” said Singh, who was part of the squad that toured both Europe and Argentina.

The 26-year-old striker added that, “We all had that hunger to perform, to put in all our preparations at test, especially against a quality side like Argentina. So, we were really excited to be back. We were in a fresh frame of mind, and I feel that really helped us in gaining momentum on the tours.”

The Amritsar-born player feels that the experience of the recent tours will help the world No. 5 side compete against strong teams at the Olympics.

“It’s a plus point that we got a chance to play against Germany, Great Britain and Argentina at this crucial juncture. We not only got to know about our strengths and weaknesses but also about theirs. We got to know about their style of play. Hence, I feel this experience will really help us compete against them at the Olympics,” said Singh.