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BBSR OQ: Young goalie Pathak is emerging strongly (6/12/2019)
--s2h Team
Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh is the first choice when it comes to guarding Indian citadel, but the irreplaceable goalkeeper might now be having an able successor in the form of Krishan Pathak. The young blood from Punjab, who though a regular in the team used to spend time mostly on the bench, is now slowly getting opportunities and looks eager to utilise them well.

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Pathak knows the task will not be easy for him but he still wants to put his best foot forward. He is looking to avail every opportunity. At the FIH Series Finals, both the goalkeepers have got equal playing time on field - with coach Graham Reid shuffling the goalkeepers every quarter.

"Last year (2018) was very good for me as I got a lot of chances. I knew I had to avail those chances, so I was very focussed. Here I am getting to play half the match which is giving me immense confidence. I will try to keep playing like that," he says.

Pathak's confidence is now visible on field - like his contemporary Sreejesh, he also keeps exercising his vocal chord to communicate with players during the match.

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"You learn from your seniors. Sreejesh's communications skills are excellent and I try to adapt the style. Being in the goalkeeper's position, I have the advantage of watching the match closely. So, I keep communicating about the player marking and structure.

Though both Sreejesh and Pathak are way apart when it comes to experience, comparison are bound to happen, and it has so far not pressurized the players.

"You always learn from your senior and want to adapt their good style. But, competition is always good. It helps you improve as a player. I don't mind it at all," he says.

As far as the tournament in concerned, India will now be playing the semis after a three-day break. That being the prime focus, Pathak wants to live up to India's chances of finishing at the top in this tournament.

Pathak's big moment was when his team won the Junior World Cup in Lucknow.

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