Sardar banks on Sreejesh to replicate his World Cup performance

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India captain Sardar Singh is banking on his deputy P.R. Sreejesh to replicate his stellar World Cup performance in the upcoming Commonwealth Games and said they are determined to stand up to the expectations of the lanky goalkeeper in the quadrennial event.

Since making his international debut in 2004, Sreejesh has improved leaps and bounds and has not only become India’s numero uno goalkeeper but one of the world’s best in the business.

“We are hoping Sreejesh will stand up and deliver once again just like the way he proved himself during the recently concluded World Cup,” Sardar said ahead of the Glasgow Games to be held from July 23 to August 3.

“It is a sense of pride for me and the entire team when we see Sreejesh motivate all of us. This time the team wants to stand up to his expectations,” he said.

Silly errors by defenders and conceding late goals has been India’s perennial problem, which came to the fore in this year’s World Cup but Sardar said come the Glasgow Games it will be tough for rivals to break the five-men defence.

“We have worked on our defence after the World Cup. We are confident that the likes of Gurbaj Singh, V.R. Raghunath, Rupinder Pal Singh, Birendra Lakra and Kothajit Singh will stand like a wall in front of the opponents. Getting through the five will not be an easy task for any team,” the skipper said.

“The team is preparing itself methodically for the upcoming tournament. We are also undertaking video analysis of the previous matches to perfect our skills and techniques and put together effective strategies for the future games,” the mercurial midfielder added.

In the Glasgow Games, India is placed along side Wales, Scotland, Australia and South Africa in Pool A while Canada, England, Malaysia, New Zealand and Trinidad and Tobago complete Pool B.

India will open their campaign against Wales on July 25, followed by games against hosts Scotland (July 26), Australia (July 29) and South Africa (July 31).

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