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RUPINDER PAL: I have lost my rhythm after injury (9/21/2018)
--Tazeen Qureshy
Bhubaneswar: The India men’s hockey team might have come back with a bronze from the Asian Games in Indonesia, but the glaring mistakes they committed, has taken much of the sheen viewed from its entirety.

Out of the several loopholes that came to the fore, penalty corner has been one area, where the Indian team continues to remain inconsistent.

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However, drag flick expert Rupinder Pal Singh, who faltered at crucial situations, denies any pressure. <>“I don’t think I falter in pressure situations. I had lost my rhythm after injury. I am building up on it. So, consistency was a problem. But, I am working towards it and hopefully it will be sorted soon,” says Rupinder Pal who negotiated unsuccessfully half a dozen penalty corners in the first quarter of the ill-fated semifinal.

In the five group stage matches, India had scored 76 goals, with Rupinder scoring 12 goals. Therefore, the lapse was glaring.

With the Asian Champions Trophy and World Cup coming up in the following months, Rupinder and the team is currently toiling hard at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, with a hope of a better show.

“I am building on my fitness. This month, I am trying to be in a better shape to face the upcoming challenges,” he says.

The Indian team is also enjoying the services of Chris Cirrielo, former Australian drag-flicker, whose expertise has been an advantage for Rupinder.

“He has brought in some new attacking techniques and structural changes. He also talks about player mentality on ground and tells us how we need to proceed in the attacking circle. In penalty corners also, he monitors our stance and keeps correcting our mistakes,” Rupinder says.

Chris is nowadays under the unofficial watch list, as his services doesnt seem to get the team any differnece in the area of penalty corner conversion.

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