FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023: Graham Reid Tries To Divert Pressure From Harmanpreet Singh

Harmanpreet Singh has been one of the best dragflickers in the world for years now. He will be leading India for the first time in a hockey World Cup.

FIH Hockey Men's World Cup 2023, FIH Hockey World Cup, Hockey World Cup, India at Hockey World Cup, India hockey team, Bhubaneshwar, Rourkela, Graham Reid, Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas,
India captain Harmanpreet Singh training in Rourkela. (Image: Twitter)

New Delhi: India head coach Graham Reid has worked upon plans to divert the attention from captain Harmanpreet Singh in the upcoming FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 which starts on January 13. India is hosting the mega event with Bhubaneswar and Rourkela as venues.

Regraded as one of the finest penalty corner specialists in the world, spotlight will certainly be on Harmanpreet, more so this time as he is leading the side in the showpiece. But Reid wants his other dragflickers — Amit Rohidas, Varun Kumar and Nilam Sanjeep Xess — to share the responsibility.

“I would be lying if I say that there isn’t pressure on him (Harmanpreet),” Reid told PTI. “We have been spending a lot of time on our variations and making sure that we can deflect some of the pressure from Harman,” added the Australian.

“There are other dragflickers in the squad in the form of Amit, Varun and Nilam and they have to share the burden.” It was under Reid, that India grabbed an Olympic bronze in Tokyo in 2021 and expectations will be certainly high on Reid.

The Australian coach understands the need of modern-day hockey. “We focussed mainly on scenarios in our training, what if we are 0-1 down, what if we are playing with 10 men, what if they take their keeper off. Those types of scenarios which are important that we have dealt with,” he added.

India’s only gold medal in World Cup came in 1975. Obviously, the whole nation wants toe repeat the feat this time in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, according to Reid, India shouldn’t be too much focused on the outcome.

“I always say that we shouldn’t be too much outcome focussed. India as nation always is focussed on outcome. It’s an old adage that the first game is the most important, so we are just focussing on that and then take it forward.

“That’s how we are approaching. My job as a coach is to keep them focussed and the result will follow. It’s an old sports psychology but it works,” he added. India are placed in a tough Pool D alongside Spain, England and Wales. India will open their campaign against Spain on Friday.

Published Date: January 12, 2023 12:10 AM IST

Updated Date: January 12, 2023 12:42 AM IST

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