Having Moved On From Tokyo Olympics Snub, Akashdeep Singh Now Has Eyes Set On Paris

A so-called 'slump in form' saw Akashdeep Singh dropped from India's Tokyo Olympics squad but he worked his way back. Not having featured in the Asian Games squad either, he now has only one thing on his mind, to make a cut for the Paris Olympics, which begins in three months' time.
Akashdeep Singh

Akashdeep Singh.

Photo : Twitter
A so-called 'slump in form' saw Akashdeep Singh dropped from India's Tokyo Olympics squad but he worked his way back. Not having featured in the Asian Games squad either, he now has only one thing on his mind, to make a cut for the Paris Olympics, which begins in three months' time.
Akashdeep spoke to Times Now on the sidelines of the annual Hockey India Awards in New Delhi, on his Paris hopes, the role of a senior player in the team, and the upcoming crucial tour of Australia. Excerpts:
You didn't find a mention in India's squad for the Tokyo Olympics. How confident are you of going to Paris?
I was pretty surprised when I was not named in the squad for the Tokyo Olympics. I was in form and I had performed well in the the six matches of the selection trials. I had performed well in Germany and Belgium ahead of that too. But that is in the past now and I can't change it. The Paris Olympics is three months down the line. As a team, our preparations have been good and I hope we fare well in Paris.
We see a lot of kids coming into the senior team every season. How do you as a senior player guide them?
When we were newbies in the A team, we learnt a lot from our seniors. Five-six players have come in this season from the junior team. We let them play with freedom inside the field and let them make their own decisions. In case they need help, we are always up for it.
How crucial is the upcoming Test series against Australia Down Under?
It is very crucial, given that Australia is in our pool at Paris. We won a series against them in 2014 but lost the series last year in Adelaide. They beat us at Tokyo as well as in the finals of the Commonwealth Games. We will go in with 100% preparation to ensure that we win the series and try to beat them in the Olympics as well.
Any specific plans against Australia, given that you recently played them in the FIH Pro League?
We fared pretty well in the Pro League. We weren't up to the mark in the first match but improved on quite a few areas in the second game, but went on to lose in the penalty shootout. But I think as a team, we defended really well against Australia.
At Paris, not just Australia you also have Belgium in the same pool as you, which has almost made it a group of death. How do you analyse the group?
We have played Australia and Belgium number of times and we have an idea of how they strategise. We have Pro League matches against Belgium in May and will play Australia in a few days. We will look to search their weak points and work on them.
End of Article
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