[India], July 24 (ANI): Ace Indian drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh, who scored a maximum of four goals in the recently-concluded three-match series against New Zealand, has said that his side are eager to defend their gold medal in the upcoming 18th Asian Games in Jakarta.
"The one-week break will help us rejuvenate as some of us have been in the National Camp continuously since April 28. When we return to camp, the team will sit together, watch videos from our matches against New Zealand and try and find out ways to improve further. We are eager to defend the Gold Medal at Asian Games in Jakarta," Rupinder Pal Singh said.
The 27-year-old's last appearance for the Indian men's hockey team at a major international event came during the 2018 Commonwealth Games, where he sustained a hamstring injury.
Subsequently, the player was rested for the FIH Champions Trophy in Breda, where the team went on to clinch the silver medal.
Reflecting on the same, Rupinder said that it was quite "frustrating" for him to miss the Champions Trophy, however, admitting that it was important for him to go through the rehabilitation process and be fit for the Asian Games.
The hockey player, who appeared in four practice matches against Bangladesh early this month and played two practice matches against South Korea, believes that the matches were a blessing in disguise as it helped the team to try different combinations.
"I think having Bangladesh, South Korea and New Zealand visit us for matches ahead of major tournaments this season was a blessing in disguise. During these matches, the team tried out different combinations and tested different variations in converting Penalty Corner," he said.
After the successful series against New Zealand, the Asian Games-bound Indian team have returned home for a week-long break and will re-join the national camp on August 1.
At the Asian Games, the Indian men's hockey team are grouped in Pool A along with Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Hong Kong China.
On a related note, the Asian Games are slated to take place from August 18 to September 2 in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang. (ANI)