Senior Indian men’s team striker S V Sunil on Saturday said scientific approach coupled with two-way communication between the players and support staff has played a key role in the former Olympic champions’ resurgence in world hockey. Also Read - New Delhi World Cup Decisive For Tokyo Olympics Qualification: ISSF

Emphasizing on the reasons behind the growth of the national teams, both men and women, over the past decade, Sunil said: “It was very different when I came into the senior India Team in 2007. A lot has changed in terms of how the national team is managed now in comparison to 10-12 years ago. There is a lot more professionalism and accountability.” Also Read - Hockey | COVID-19 Experience Made me Mentally Stronger, Says India Men's Captain Manpreet Singh

“This systematic approach has definitely contributed to the team’s improvement over the years. Also Read - Hockey: Rani Rampal on Becoming First Woman Player to Get Khel Ratna, Dedicates Her Award to The Corona Warriors

“Earlier, we would do what the coach would say without questioning or without reasoning. But this has changed drastically over the years and there is a two-way communication approach where players are equally involved in planning training sessions,” Sunil added.

The 31-year-old forward from Karnataka said senior players are now consulted by Hockey India, to ensure everything is on the right track.

“I think these aspects have not only made the players as well as support staff more responsible and accountable but it has also largely helped in India’s climb up the world rank to no.4.”

Sunil also expressed his happiness with the way things were handled during the COVID-19-forced lockdown and the subsequent resumption of the ongoing national camp in Bengaluru.

“We were particularly happy with the kind of care taken by Hockey India and SAI to ensure we have a safe environment in SAI, Bengaluru.

“It is like a bio-bubble here with zero contact from outside and the Federation keeps a close check on every player’s well-being through constant communication with team’s chief coach,” he said.