Rourkela, February 23: India has so far performed well in the Men's Hockey Pro League with two wins in regulation time, two wins in shootout, one loss in regulation time and a loss to the Netherlands in a shootout that took place on 21st February. 

India kicked off their campaign in Bhubaneswar with a convincing 4-1 victory over Spain, followed by a thrilling 2-2 (4-2) shootout win against the Netherlands, the top-ranked team in the world. 

India then lost 4-6 to Australia but bounced back with a 1-0 triumph over Ireland to conclude the Bhubaneswar leg on a high.

Moving to the Rourkela leg of the League, the hosts carried their momentum sealing a 2-2 (8-7) shootout win against Spain in a closely contested match. 

In yet another nail-biting encounter, India, trailing 0-1 at half-time against the Netherlands, came back to level the score and took the game into a shootout, which they lost 2-4. 

Young Araijeet Singh Hundal and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay were on target for India during the shootout against the Netherlands.

-----------------------------Advertisement------------------------------------

Speaking about his experience in the tournament so far, Hundal, a recent addition to the senior  squad, said, "It has been a surreal experience. Competing against top-tier teams such as the Netherlands and Australia, receiving encouragement from both seniors and the coach, is genuinely delightful, and it has also been a valuable learning experience for me."

Asked about the guidance provided by his senior teammates, the 20-year-old forward said "They advised me to keep an open mindset, play freely, and avoid putting unnecessary pressure on myself."

About how he felt after finding the target during the shootout, Hundal said, “First of all, I would like to thank the coach for providing me with the opportunity to take the shot. I would also like to thank my seniors for encouraging me before I stepped up. It helped me with my nerves.”

“I am glad that my shot was on target as it certainly helped boost my confidence in my game,” he added 

must read