Asian Champions Trophy will show the level we’re at, says Sumit

Indian men’s hockey team midfielder Sumit feels the Asian Champions Trophy, which will be their first assignment since the outbreak of novel coronavirus, will be a perfect platform to test where the team stands.

The team is scheduled to play the tournament in Dhaka, early March next year provided there are no travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have been very fortunate to resume training and we have been provided with a bio-safe environment by SAI and Hockey India to hone our skills. The Asian Champions Trophy next year will show the level we are at and how much we will need to further improve ahead of the Olympic Games,” said the midfielder who was part of the Indian team that won the Junior World Cup in 2016.

Having missed out some important tournaments last year due to a wrist-injury, the midfielder is eager to compete and wear the India jersey.

“I had suffered a wrist injury during the FIH Men’s Series Finals in Bhubaneswar last June. It was a long road to recovery and I was happy to have been picked for the FIH Hockey Pro League earlier this year where I got to play against top teams,” said Sumit.

“To make the Indian team, one has to be really good in executing what is expected of us and there is good internal competition. For now, I am giving my 100 per cent in training and I look forward to hopefully playing in the Asian Champions Trophy and defending our title next year,” he added.

Speaking of the ongoing national coaching camp at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) facility, Sumit said the team is making progress and is headed in the right direction.

“Though we won’t be competing this year due to the pandemic, the sessions are planned in such a way that we play matches against each other where we are expected to bring out our best,” said Sumit who comes from Sonipat.

“We have something called as red sessions which are high intensity sessions and I can tell that we are in much better form both mentally and physical than when we started out in August after mandatory quarantine,” he added.