Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], November 24 (ANI): Indian hockey team forward Shilanand Lakra believes that consistent performances in the domestic tournaments will pave way for his return to the national side.
Lakra has spent the last couple of years in and around the Indian team but has not managed to feature in many matches.
"Obviously having made my debut for the senior team in 2018 at the 27th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, I would have expected myself to play more than two tournaments in these two years, but that is how competitive the sport in our country has become. We've got some amazing players in the core probables' group, and my aim has always been to earn a place in the team through more consistent performances in domestic tournaments and in our national camps," Lakra said in a Hockey India release.
"The opportunity that the pandemic has provided me with is that I've had enough time to re-think and analyse what I've been doing these past two years, and what else I can do to progress in my career. I've also managed to speak to the coaching staff, and especially chief coach Graham Reid, who has helped me identify areas where I need to improve upon," the youngster added.
The 21-year-old striker idolises two of the best players his state has produced in Dilip Tirkey and current fellow core probable Birendra Lakra and wants to emulate their longevity.
"I think both of them have been exceptional in their respective journeys, and I get so much inspiration when I speak to them, and read about how the struggles they had to endure in order to get to the biggest stage. It is a marvellous achievement for both to have played so many years at the top level, and that longevity is something I would like to have in my career as well, and give back to my nation and my state in some way," expressed Lakra. (ANI)