No fairytale debut but a good lesson for Pavandip

PETALING JAYA: Pavandip Singh’s first international cap in a Test match against Britain had no fairytale ending.

In fact, it was a losing debut as Malaysia lost 1-3 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil. The following two matches wasn’t rosy either for Pavandip as Malaysia lost 0-1 to Japan and 0-1 to Britain.

The 20-year-old six-footer isn’t disheartened as he believes he has gained valuable experience.

“I did not expect to be selected to play so it was a good feeling to make my senior team debut, ” said Pavandip.

“My performance wasn’t the best but it was a whole new experience for me. It was nerve-wracking to play against teams gearing up for the Olympics, but I tried to help the team.

“I’ve learned a lot from these matches... I need to be stronger and faster to be able to play at this level.”

Midfielder Pavandip was not the only Under-21 player selected by coach A. Arulselvaraj for the Test series as he was joined by Akhmullah Annuar Esook and Shello Silverious.

“Coach Arul was supportive and he didn’t put pressure on the newcomers. He made sure we enjoyed ourselves but at the same time pushed us to work harder, ” he said.

“We kept improving game by game. And it was also good that the seniors were supportive and kept encouraging me.”

Meanwhile, Arul said Pavandip played smart and was good with the ball but needed more international exposure to be better.

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