Tokyo Olympics 2020: Gurjit Kaur says Indian women's hockey team eager to perform against Australia
India's Gurjit Kaur says the team will get a chance to test certain aspects of its game at the FIH test event before the Tokyo Olympics
The Indian women's team, currently ranked 10th, will face tough challenges against the likes of Australia, China (11th) and hosts Japan (14th)
The highest goal scorer of the FIH Women's Series Finals, Gurjit will be one of the most important players at the Olympic test event
India's lone drag-flicker, Gurjit, had returned for the FIH Women's Series Finals in Hiroshima after recovering from a back injury
Bengaluru: Pulling off a victory against the world number 2 Australia will help boost our confidence ahead of the Olympics qualifiers, feels Indian women's hockey player Gurjit Kaur.
The Indian women's team, currently ranked 10th in the FIH Rankings, will face tough challenges against the likes of Australia, China (11th) and hosts Japan (14th) at the Olympic test event, scheduled to begin in Tokyo on 17 August.
The tournament will give the Indian team a chance to work on a few aspects of its game before the all-important Olympic Qualifiers in October/November.
"It will be a big confidence boost for us if we do well against Australia. In the past six months, we have done very well against teams like Japan, China, Spain and Ireland but a win against Australia will put us in good stead ahead of the Olympic Qualifiers," Gurjit said.
India's lone drag-flicker, Gurjit, who returned for the FIH Women's Series Finals in Hiroshima after recovering from a back injury, played a key role in India's triumph in the competition in June.
The 23-year-old said that the team environment is great and the players are upbeat about their game. "Since we are backed by good preparations — thanks to the special camps held for defenders and goalkeepers, the team environment before the Olympic Test Event is great and we are upbeat and confident."
"In the past few weeks, we have worked on quite a few aspects of our game so we can do well against teams like Australia, China and Japan."
The highest goal scorer of the FIH Women's Series Finals, Gurjit will be one of the most important players at the Olympic test event. Even though she is the only drag-flicker in the team, she doesn't feel it is extra pressure and looks at the position as her responsibility.
"Dragflicking is a responsibility for me like everyone else has their own responsibilities. Some players have to attack for a goal, some players have to defend, that way, my responsibility is to ensure we score through PCs, which I work on."
"The exposure I have got over the past two years has only helped me grow in the team and improve my skills as a drag-flicker," she said.
Gurjit also disclosed that she didn't have a deep understanding of drag flicking when she joined the Indian team. "I practised and learnt drag flicking well after joining the Indian team then I got my chances and thereafter my confidence increased," she said.
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