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Hard to Fill PR Sreejesh’s Shoes, Says Suraj Karkera as Indian Hockey Team Gear up for Men’s Asian Champions Trophy

India hockey goalkeeper Suraj Karkera has mentioned that whereas it’s going to be laborious to fill stalwart PR Sreejesh’s sneakers, he’ll attempt to give his 100 per cent within the Men’s Asian Champions Trophy 2021 scheduled to start in Dhaka on December 14.

Three-time champions India will start their marketing campaign towards South Korea on the opening day of the match.

The 26-year-old Karkera, who has been included within the Indian aspect after almost two years, mentioned that he’s excited to as soon as once more don the Indian jersey. The Mumbai participant final performed for the nation on the Tokyo Olympics check occasion in 2019.

“I’m actually excited to get an opportunity to play for India after a very long time. Anytime you get an opportunity to don the Indian jersey, you are feeling the goosebumps. I’m not nervous in any respect as we’ve skilled effectively. I really feel assured about myself and my skills,” Karkera mentioned on Saturday.

Karkera will step into the sneakers of Sreejesh, who was a key participant in India’s historic bronze medal-winning efficiency on the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“PR Sreejesh has finished a lot for India for therefore a few years. It is all the time going to be laborious to fill his sneakers. But I’ll attempt to give my 100 per cent at any time when I get a possibility,” mentioned Karkera. “We have been studying from him for therefore lengthy. He shares his data with all of us throughout goalpost coaching and offers us plenty of suggestions. So, I’ve an enormous accountability,” he added.

Apart from vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh and skilled Varun Kumar, India have additionally included younger gamers resembling Jarmanpreet Singh, Dipsan Tirkey, Nilam Sanjeep Xess and Mandeep Mor within the aspect.

Karkera expressed confidence in India’s defence.

“Everyone within the defence is aware of their duties and roles they need to play. Goalkeeping is my responsibility and my zone. So, in fact, it’s important on my half to maintain speaking with the defence line,” Karkera mentioned.

This shall be India’s first competitors for the reason that Tokyo Olympics. Speaking on India’s prospects within the match, Karkera mentioned that the group will take it one match at a time.

“We goal to win the trophy. We will take it match by match, no matter which group we face. We will strive not to consider outcomes and hold a transparent thoughts. We are going to play a match after a very long time. So, in fact, gamers are contemporary and excited to carry out,” he added.

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