Forward Lalit Upadhyay believes the Indian men's hockey team have improved their performance by leaps and bounds in the recent years, especially when it comes to putting up a fight in pressure situations and not giving up.
"If I look back at how we played then in 2014 and how we play now as a team, I feel we have come a long way and have grown from strength-to-strength. We don't choke in tense moments anymore and we have learnt to put up a fight-back if required," Lalit said.
"Our performance particularly in the last two years have been note-worthy, having achieved good success rate against top teams like Belgium, Netherlands and Australia," he added.
Having been in the national camp for over four months now amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Lalit feels the core group has improved in fitness levels especially in comparison to when they began the camp in August.
He said, "While living in a bio-secure environment, without being allowed to go out of campus, for over four months has been extremely challenging, I feel this long camp has certainly helped us achieve good fitness levels and hit the same match-fitness and speed we were at during the start of the year when we played the FIH Hockey Pro League."
"We are all hopeful that we will get to play a few international matches before we compete in important tournaments like the Asian Champions Trophy where we defend the title," he added.