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Extremely fortunate to play alongside Manpreet, says Nilakanta Sharma

ANI | Updated: May 25, 2021 14:27 IST

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], May 25 (ANI): The Indian men's hockey team midfielder Nilakanta Sharma, who has played 57 matches for the national side, has said he is extremely fortunate to have the chance of playing alongside captain Manpreet Singh.
Nilakanta, who was part of the FIH Men's Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019 gold medal-winning team, also said that he is looking to take his game to the next level in 2021.
"It's been a great journey with the Indian team so far. We have seen a lot of highs and I feel we can do even better in the upcoming years. I have been very lucky to have the chance of playing alongside a player like Manpreet Singh in the midfield region. I have learned a lot from him. And there's a lot more to learn from him as well. I have improved a lot in the last few years, but I really want to take my game to the next level this year as it's an important year for us," said the 26-year-old in an official Hockey India release.

While speaking about an aspect the team needs to improve upon, Nilakanta said: "I think we can improve on executing our short passes and maintaining possession for a longer period. If we keep the ball with us for a longer period of time, then we can create more opportunities to score. However, everyone on the team is playing well. We just have to make a few tweaks here and there."

Nilakanta added that the team's preparation for the Olympics is carrying on in full swing. He said that the team is very confident about achieving its goal in Tokyo.
"The Olympics is not far away. Our preparations for the big event is on in full swing. Everyone is confident about their respective games and if we play to our full potential, we can certainly make history in the Tokyo Olympics. It's all about peaking at the right time and that will be our main focus once the Olympics is underway," signed off Nilakanta. (ANI)