Star Indian forward Mandeep Singh on Tuesday said the upcoming Pro League will be a perfect platform to “test” themselves ahead of the marquee FIH World Cup, set to be held in Odisha next year.
Ahead of the World Cup 2023, the Indian team will compete in the Pro League from October 28-November 6. “It is always good to compete against strong teams before a major competition. The Pro League will be helpful once again to prepare ourselves for the World Cup, and will also give us a chance to test ourselves before the tournament,” the 27-year-old said in a Hockey India statement.
The Olympic bronze medallist Indian team was drubbed 7-0 by Australia in the final of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. The fifth-ranked Indian team is placed in a tough Pool D along with England, Spain and Wales. The group topper will make the quarterfinals straightaway while the next two teams will have to fight it out in the cross-overs.
“Our Coach Graham Reid always tells us to focus on what we can control and not worry about things beyond our control. Irrespective of which teams we have in our group, we are focusing on preparing ourselves to the best of our skills, and according to our plans,” Mandeep said.
“We are confident that if we stick to our basics, and focus on the areas where we need to improve upon in training, we will be able to perform well in the tournament and have a great showing,” he added. The quadrennial showpiece will be held across two venues in Odisha across Bhubaneswar and Rourkela and will see 16 teams compete in the tournament. “There is always an excitement in the air when we get a chance to play in front of the home fans. Getting a chance to perform against the best teams in the world once again in India will be an exciting affair and hence, we are eager for the World Cup to begin,” he concluded.