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India vs Pakistan: IND has learnt to be calm while playing PAK, says Rupinder Pal Singh

Indian hockey team will take on Pakistan in a group game of the Asia Cup in Bangladesh on Sunday and Rupinder Pal Singh, who missed the tournament due to injury, feels the ties always bring out the best in the players

other sports Updated: Oct 14, 2017 17:26 IST
Navneet Singh
Navneet Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India vs Pakistan,IND vs PAK,India vs Pakistan hockey
India vs Paksitan: The young players in the Indian hockey team playing at the Asia Cup in Bangladesh, the likes of Talwinder Singh (centre), have displayed a cool head with grit while playing Pakistan in the past and Rupinder Pal Singh says thing would be the same when the two sides meet in Dhaka on Sunday. (Getty Images)

Playing Pakistan brings the best out of you, but there is always an added pressure on Indian hockey team to dominate the contest, says the country’s top drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh.

“Whenever you play Pakistan there is a different kind of pressure. Players just want to go all out from the word go and gain the upper hand. It adds to the pressure,” says the defender from Punjab.

India will take on Pakistan in a group game on Sunday at the Asia Cup being held in Bangladesh.

After a brief hiatus due to injury, Rupinder Pal Singh missed the ongoing Asia Cup in Bangladesh. He has recovered and is back in the national camp.

Calm under pressure

Despite the adrenaline rush when playing Pakistan, Indian players have learnt to stay positive. “The emphasis is always on good hockey and not indulging in rough tackle,” he said on the sidelines of the national age-group tennis championship here, where he was the chief guest.

Staying confident has been the team’s mantra, says the Olympian. “We take Pakistan as just another team and don’t get distracted by the off-field issues.”

Asked about the frequent change of coaches in the Indian hockey team, he said: “Like the players, coaches are also under pressure to deliver. But you can’t win all the matches all the time. What matters is playing consistently in major tournaments.”

New Indian hockey team coach Sjoerd Marijne made no major changes in preparation for the Asia Cup, but he might for the next major tournament—Hockey World League Final to be held at Bhubaneswar from December 1.

Rupinder Pal was hopeful of making the cut. “I should be in when the selectors pick the national squad for Bhubaneswar,” he said.

First Published: Oct 14, 2017 17:26 IST