Match situations only way to judge a player: Shamsher

India hockey team forward Shamsher Singh said that a player’s real ability can be judged only in match situations and not in practice sessions.

The 23-year-old from Punjab said that the tour of Argentina for the FIH Pro League matches recently had given him a good idea about the level at which top hockey players play.

India beat the defending Olympic champions in both FIH Pro League games besides winning two practice games as well.

“One can practice a lot during training sessions, but a player’s actual ability can be judged only during matches and, therefore, I was delighted to play in a big tournament like the FIH Pro League. To be among the best, we have to constantly test ourselves against the best and I was happy with the way I performed in Argentina,” he said.

“The matches certainly gave me a good idea about the level at which a hockey athlete plays in a big tournament. The competition gave me great exposure and I am sure the experience will help me become a much better player,” said the Punjab player, who has been with the team since 2019.

Shamsher singled out the young Rajkumar Pal and Vivek Sagar Prasad for special praise during the tour of Buenos Aires, saying the duo had complemented the efforts of the experienced players.

“The performance put in by the youngsters augurs well for India. The best part about our team is that there is a good mix of experience and youth in our side. The experienced players have been performing consistently for many years and, therefore, the contribution made by Rajkumar Pal and Vivek Sagar Prasad has increased the confidence and the belief in our side tremendously.”

The forward said that going forward, the only thing needed was to “fine-tune our game” and “hit our peak by the time we travel for the Olympics”.