Indian Men’s Hockey Team striker Lalit Upadhyay feels the team still has scope to work on their goal conversion rate. In their recent tour to Argentina, the team scored a total of 12 goals in four practice matches and total five goals from the double header FIH Hockey Pro League matches against the Olympic Champions. Out of the total 17 goals from six matches, nine goals came via penalty corners.
“The matches against Argentina were high-scoring games and it’s never easy to convert field goals against a team like Argentina who are quite strong in their defence,” explained Lalit Upadhyay who scored in India’s 3-0 win against the Olympic Champions in the FIH Hockey Pro League tie.
“Over these last few months, we have really worked a lot on converting goals as well as creating PCs. We have also focused on how we must work our way into the circle from the 25m mark. I feel we can become sharper in the way we take those chances inside the circle, and this is something we are focusing on during our on-going camp,” expressed Lalit.
He further highlighted that the team strongly believes that they have the best shot at the medal at the Tokyo Olympics and they are unfazed in this mission despite several challenges leading up to the Games due to the pandemic. “All of us in the core group believe this (Tokyo Olympics) is our best shot at a medal and we continue to work towards that mission despite whatever challenges we may have to face in the lead up.
Our focus will be on maintaining our fitness level, avoiding any injuries and we will be creating match scenarios in our practice sessions where we will work on different tactics,” he said.
Lalit emphasized that having a centralised training facility like SAI Centre, Bengaluru has been a boon in these unprecedented times. “We are truly lucky to be in a facility like SAI Centre, Bengaluru where our training goes on undisturbed, and we have the best facilities. We also have an exclusive gym now for hockey which has been very helpful. Hockey India too monitors our progress and follows up on any requirement and this kind of support during these difficult times has been a big bonus in our preparations,” Lalit concluded.