All set to play in his fourth FIH males’s hockey World Cup and the third on house soil, veteran India goalkeeper PR Sreejesh feels his staff can do higher than the quarterfinal exit within the final version, and even end on prime of the rostrum this time. The showpiece begins right here on Friday. India topped their pool after successful two matches and drawing one, however misplaced to eventual runners-up Netherlands 2-1 within the quarterfinals of the 2018 version, which was performed at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, one of many two venues this time.
“It’s a nice honour for me to play my fourth World Cup for our nation and the particular half is, that is my third World Cup on house soil. I do not assume any participant has had this privilege of taking part in three World Cups at house,” Sreejesh stated forward of India’s first Pool D match on Friday in opposition to Spain.
“In 2018, we could not go into semis. Now, we’ve yet one more alternative to vary our fortunes at this mega occasion. Hopefully we are able to enhance our earlier efficiency and end on prime,” he stated.
India has not completed on the rostrum in 48 years since successful the gold in 1975 version in Kuala Lumpur below the captaincy of Ajit Pal Singh.
The 34-year-old skilled goalkeeper, the second most capped Indian participant within the staff after Manpreet Singh, stated outcomes matter greater than the variety of occasions a participant turns up for a marquee occasion just like the World Cup.
“I’ve all the time felt it is not about what number of occasions you could have performed a match however whether or not you could have received it or not is what issues probably the most. This time too, it is essential for me to present my 100 per cent and get the specified consequence from the match,” stated Sreejesh, who performed a serious function in India’s historic bronze-winning feat within the Tokyo Olympics.
Sreejesh, who was named the FIH Goalkeeper of the Yr, remembered his first outing on the World Cup when the top coach requested him to pad as much as guard India’s publish in opposition to nemesis Pakistan. This was through the New Delhi version in 2010.
“My first match within the World Cup was in opposition to Pakistan. I nonetheless keep in mind, through the staff assembly, our coach stated that Pakistan will come absolutely ready for goalkeeper Adrian (D’Souza) so he determined to place me within the match in opposition to them.
“When he requested me to pad up, the sensation of getting an opportunity was merely unbelievable,” recalled Sreejesh, feeling nostalgic.
“To play my first World Cup match in entrance of a packed house floor in opposition to Pakistan felt like a dream. I can nonetheless really feel the environment, how the stadium was, how individuals reacted and the way we received that match. That was the perfect second for me as a teen.” He additionally recalled India’s outing within the following World Cup occasions.
“Each World Cup is particular for a participant however I distinctly keep in mind the 2014 World Cup in Hague. We completed ninth sadly however we fought very well in that match. Personally, for me, I assumed that was an amazing efficiency.”
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