Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], May 29 : Indian men's hockey team skipper Manpreet Singh has insisted that the upcoming 3 Nations Invitational Tournament in Germany will provide them with the opportunity to assess their performance and get ready for the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi Final to be played in London.
"Playing top teams like Germany and Belgium (both Rio Olympic Medalists), will help us a lot ahead of the Hero Hockey World League Semi Final (Men).
If we play well against them, we will gain a lot of confidence and it will give us a little more time to make minor changes in our game and iron out any mistake," stated skipper Manpreet Singh ahead of the departure on Monday for the 3 Nations Invitational Tournament beginning June 1 in Dusseldorf, Germany.
"We will be able to assess our performance and get ready for the bigger challenge in London," he added.
The 18-member squad left from the Kempegowda International Airport in the wee hours of Monday morning after a two-week national camp at the Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru campus.
At the tournament in Dusseldorf, India will play two matches each against Germany and Belgium. Right after the 3 Nations Invitational Tournament, the team will arrive in London on June 9 for the Hero Hockey World League Semi Final (Men) where they will play practice matches against Olympic Gold Medalists Argentina and Great Britain before the start of the tournament.
"We always take practice matches seriously because doing well in a practice match means gaining the required momentum for the start of the tournament.
We will also get the feel of the pitch to get a good sense of how to take penalty corners." expressed the 24-year-old Singh.
India will play their first match against Scotland (June 15), followed by Canada (June 17), Pakistan (June 18) and the Netherlands (June 20) in the pool stage.
"We cannot single out any one team as a tough team to beat because every team will play their best considering this is a prestigious tournament and also a World Cup qualifier.
We cannot take any team lightly and our aim will be to start on a winning note and earn those three points," he added.
The Squad: Goalkeepers--- Akash Chikte, Vikas Dahiya Defenders---Pardeep Mor, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Rupinderpal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh Midfielders---Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (Vice Captain), S K Uthappa, Satbir Singh, Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh (Captain), Harjeet Singh Forwards---Ramandeep Singh, SV Sunil, Talwinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh.