'We need to improve our fitness level'

Five-time champions India finished a lowly sixth in seven-nation tournament and the a number of former players chose to blame poor fitness level of the team for the debacle.
“It will be wrong to say that we lost the tournament because of fitness issues. There were many other reasons. But it is true that we have to improve our fitness level to be at par with other big teams.

“Modern hockey is all about fitness and no team can ignore that,” Shrikant told ‘PTI Bhasha’ from Raipur. “Our players did not play international hockey for almost five months prior to Azlan Shah. Other teams have strong club culture and they have been playing club hockey. Body takes time to get conditioned while de-conditioning is much faster and easier. Plus some key players were out because of injuries and some were not in top form,” he said.
The physio also claimed that Indian team will be much fitter before Champions trophy and Olympic qualifiers.

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