Surender Kumar On Sultan Azlan Shah Cup: Tournament A Litmus Test For Youngsters

2 min read
Sultan Azlan Sha Cup 2019
File Photo of Indian Hockey team at Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. Image Source: Indian Express
Highlights

  • Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is a good chance for youngsters to examine themselves for the 2020 Olympics, says India's vice-captain Surender Kumar.
  • The tournament will start from March 23, with rival teams Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Canada, Poland in the run.
  • India will play its first match is against Japan and then with Korea.

The vice-captain of Indian Men’s Hockey team, Surender Kumar, declared the upcoming Sultan Azlan Shah Cup as a good chance for youngsters to examine themselves for the 2020 Olympics.

Surender said,  “The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup has always been a great platform to test youngsters and see how they adapt to international standards. Their experience will grow ahead of the major (2020 Olympic Games qualifying) tournaments we play this year.”

 

He further added that some of the players did very well at the FIH Champions Trophy and 2018 Men’s World Cup. He claimed that they have been in touch with those players and spoke to them about handling pressure at extreme situations, especially when they are one or two goals down. He hopes a good performance at the Sultan Azlan Shah will benefit the team in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

 

When asked about India’s probabilities on winning the tournament, Surender claimed that their goal is to win the gold.

About India’s playing skills, Surender Kumar said, “The Indian team works with the belief that our defence needs to be solid and solid defence can win tournaments. This belief automatically brings a sense of responsibility.”

Also Read: Watch the Complete Sports Calendar for 2019

India at Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2019

Young players will be participating at the 28th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup with the likes of Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Sumit, Nilakanta Sharma, Sumit Kumar (Junior), Gurinder Singh, Simranjeet Singh and Gurjant Singh, among others. These youngsters have shown great potential after making their international debut with the senior team.

 

The weather in Ipoh, Malaysia where the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup will be held, is around 34-36 degrees – a relatively hot climatic condition. This is why Surender decided that the Indian team trains in the afternoon which will help them adapt to the weather.

The tournament will start from March 23, with rival teams Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Canada, Poland in the run. India’s first match is against Japan and then with Korea.

About Surender Kumar

Surender Kumar plays for the Indian National Hockey team as a defender and is currently the vice-captain of the team. He became a part of the national scene in 2016 when he was selected for the senior men’s camp after a successful outing in the Hockey India League (HIL).

He has given some of his best performances playing for India and earned respect over time.

Also Read: Greatest Moments in Indian Hockey

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A college student, Nandini is a passionate sports lover. She loves watching sports and curiously keeps checking the current scores of the matches in between her classes. Also, she loves to pen down a lot. And hence, with Kreedon, Nandini is happily connecting both her interests well.

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