With the introspection already done, Indian women’s hockey team senior midfielder Sushila Chanu said on Wednesday that the need of the hour was to start with a fresh perspective and work on the gray areas brought to light in their last two tournaments.
India finished a disappointing ninth in this year’s FIH women’s competition the world Cup in July but won bronze in Birmingham to secure his first Commonwealth Games medal in 16 years.
The Indian women are currently training at the national camp here ahead of their next big assignment – the inaugural FIH Nations Cup to be held in Valencia, Spain from December 10 to 17.
Sushila said in Hockey, “We have had a lot of time here at SAI to reflect on our performance in previous tournaments – FIH Women’s World Cup and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. India liberation
“We are now training with a fresh perspective and focusing on the areas where we fell short during these two outings.”
In the Nations Cup, the qualifying tournament for the 2023–24 FIH Pro League, India are in Pool B along with Canada, Japan and South Africa while Ireland, Italy, Korea and Spain are in Pool A.
The 30-year-old from Manipur is a veteran of 220 international caps and also captained the team at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Despite the reputation, Sushila knows it would be a big mistake to replace him in a team with a host of youngsters making their presence felt late on the pitch.
“There’s a bunch of young guys who are giving 100 per cent in their training every day and it’s good to see them push us to do better too. Certainly, as seniors we cannot accept our place in the team because we also need to show that we are in the reckoning to play big tournaments.
“I think this internal competition is good for the team and we are moving in the right direction,” she said.
Sushila also emphasized the importance of fitness in modern hockey.
“Working on fitness and speed is a priority for us and that is our main focus in this camp as well.
“Playing with good pace and great fitness level was our plus point during the Olympic games, which helped us get good results. Fitness will be the key to our performance when we play back-to-back matches in the Nations Cup,” she signed off.