Monday, June 27, 2022

We aren’t afraid of anyone at Hockey World Cup, says India’s Sushila Chanu

India’s “fighting spirit” has given the side optimism for a successful Women’s World Cup.

India will open their campaign against England on July 3 in a Pool B match before matches against China and New Zealand.

Half back Sushila Chanu said that the order of the matches does not change how the team will be preparing for the tournament.

“It does not matter against which opponents we start our campaign. We are not afraid of which team we are facing first as our mentality and our mindset is to take each game as it comes and try and win every match.

“We have faced China recently in Muscat, Oman, in the Women’s Hockey Asia Cup 2022, and in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021/22. And so it will be an advantage for us.

“We will be playing the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021/22 matches against England next month. We had last played New Zealand in 2020. So we know about all these teams quite well and we know how we have to prepare for the upcoming challenges.”

India competed against Spain Women’s Hockey Team at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar over the past weekend in a two-legged affair. While India won the first match 2-1, Spain won the second match 4-3. India forward Navneet Kaur also spoke on how the team has gained confidence in the past couple of years because of constantly facing higher-ranked opponents.

“Around two to three years ago, there used to be a concern in the team before facing stronger opponents. But now, there is no fear in our team and we feel we are ready to face every challenge. Even if an opponent scores the first goal, we know we have the capability and skills to get things back in our favour.

“Our team has developed a fighting spirit over the past couple of years. This has worked really well for us,” she added.

India will next play a double-header against Germany in FIH Hockey Pro League 2021/22 on March 12-13.

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