Footballer Indumathi Kathiresan has put the call of duty ahead of everything else in life.
And when the midfielder leads the Indian women’s team against quality opponents such as Uzbekistan and Belarus on April 5 and 8, respectively, it will be her guiding force that will make the difference between victory and defeat when India play two international friendlies in Uzbekistan.
Not so long back, 26-year-old Indumathi, who has 34 international caps and 12 goals to her credit, was busy implementing strict Covid-19 rules all of last year on the streets of Chennai, donning the Tamil Nadu Police uniform. But over the next few days, she has to ensure the midfield is kept intact and her teammates are given quality support upfront.
“I’m really thankful that we got to train for so many months even during the pandemic situation, in a safe manner. That really helped us a lot,” the veteran player was quoted as saying from Uzbekistan.
The team had received good exposure in February after having played friendlies against quality oppositions such as Serbia, Russia, and Ukraine in Turkey in mid-February, thus having kicked off their preparations for the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in right earnest.
“We also got the opportunity to play three good matches in Turkey. We gave it our best in all three matches and gained a lot of experience against quality opponents. Now that we are in Uzbekistan, we will look to carry on the same good work. We have a number of young, energetic players in the team,” she said.
On her being named captain of the side for the two friendlies, Indumathi, who has been with the national team since 2014 and was part of the India squad that won the 2016 South Asian Games gold, termed it as a ‘proud moment’.
“It is a proud moment to have been named the captain of the Indian team for these two matches. Sangita (Basfore) had captained the side earlier (in the three matches in Turkey), and she had done a great job to guide the youngsters,” said Indumathi.
“It’s not an easy task, but I’ll try to do the best I can. I’ll try to motivate everyone so that we all move forward together as a team,” she said.