We need to work more on converting opportunities in circle, says Sharmila

New Delhi, Feb 7 (IANS) India women’s team forward Sharmila Devi believes the experience of the Argentina tour will hold in good stead as the team prepares for the Tokyo Olympic Games re-scheduled to be held in July-August this year.

In India’s recent tour to Argentina, Sharmila scored twice for India in low-scoring games that proved crucial for the team against the second-ranked side in the world.

“The Indian team was playing against Argentina after nearly four years. The senior players who had previously played against Argentina in 2017 recalled how strong a team they are and how important it is for us to execute our plans perfectly,” said Sharmila.

“Though we were quite effective against them and came very close to winning, I felt we should work a lot more on converting opportunities in the circle. We were making enough and more circle entries but were unable to convert,” she added highlighting the area which the team will be working on when the core group returns to national camp on February 14.

Sharmila also lauded the efforts of Hockey India in ensuring the tour was well organised despite these trying circumstances due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Playing in Argentina was a very different experience. The opponent was no doubt very challenging, which made this tour exciting, but the way everything was organised and playing in a bio-secure bubble was a different experience altogether. Even the hotel we stayed at took extra care in ensuring our comforts and the food was suitable to our palate which is rarely ever the case when we travel. We are very grateful to Hockey India for ensuring a safe environment for us to compete,” said Sharmila.

“Though we are disappointed we didn’t secure a win, the lessons from this exposure will help us prepare best for the Olympic Games,” she added.



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