Although Sreejesh did not mention the recent Uri terror attack which led to heightened tensions between the two countries, he said his team would not want to disappoint Indian soldiers by losing against Pakistan in the Asian Champions Trophy.

 

The six Asian countries will lock horns at Kuantan in Malaysia between October 20 and 30.

 

"India-Pakistan match brings a lot of excitement to the table. We want to give our hundred per cent. We don't want to disappoint our soldiers by losing, especially when they sacrifice their lives in the exchange of fire at the borders," Sreejesh told PTI. 

 

India faces Pakistan on October 23 in the round-robin match.

 

The skipper also said that although Pakistan has been playing bad hockey, they have an exceptional quality of springing a surprise on any given day.

 

"They are now playing a lower-grade hockey. That is what I feel. But they (Pakistan) have a strong mental attitude. They can beat any team anytime. That is their speciality," Sreejesh said at the Sports Authority of India centre where the Indian team is currently training.

 

Fresh and rejuvenated after a brief break following their eighth-place finish in the Rio Olympics, probable core members of Indian senior men's hockey team had returned to the national camp, which started on September 18.

 

The camp features 26 core probable, including former captain Sardar Singh and the likes of Akashdeep Singh and Chinglensana Singh.

 

The four-week camp has set the momentum for the fourth Asian Champions Trophy where India go in as favourites.

 

"At present, we are in a better position than Pakistan as we have been playing against top teams around the world. Pakistan, on the other hand, failed to qualify for the Olympics for the first time in their history," Sreejesh added.

 

The Indian captain also suggested that other teams in the tournament like Malaysia and Korea cannot be taken lightly because they have been making improvements.

 

"The Asian Champions Trophy is not an easy contest. The Koreans are in the process of developing their team. Malaysia is working towards getting noticed at international level," he said.