With less than a month before the Hockey World Cup gets underway in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, we now know who all will be taking field for India in the tournament. The Hockey India today announced Manpreet Singh led squad for the quadrennial event which begins on 28 November at Kalinga Stadium.
Among the 34 probable who participated in the preparation camp, 18 were shortlisted for the 16 team event. The squad largely has mix of youth and experience, but will miss the services of 3 of the senior most players who featured in the camp. The team’s goalkeeping duties have been aptly given to the former captain PR Sreejesh and his protégé Krishan Bahadur Pathak, who has played second fiddle to Sreejesh in the Commonwealth Games, Champions Trophy, Asian Games and recently in the Asian Champions Trophy.
The Defending line-up will largely depend on experienced drag flicker Harman Preet Singh, Surender Kumar and Kothajit Singh. They will be ably supported by drag flicker Varun Kumar, Birendra Lakra and Amit Rohidas.
The captain of the team Manpreet Singh will have a larger role to play in the midfield with the likes of Chinglensana Singh (vice captain), and fairly inexperienced and young Hardik Singh who debuted in the Asian Champions trophy, Junior World Cup gold medalist Nilkanta Sharma and Sumit Kumar.
The forward line-up features experienced duo of Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh apart from Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Dilpreet Singh and Simranjeet Singh.
Experienced trio shown the exit door
The team which sees the exclusion of drag flicker Rupinder Pal Singh, striker SV Sunil and Raman deep Singh will raise a few eyebrows in the days to come.
SV Sunil suffered a knee injury ahead of the Asian Champions Trophy and has been recovering since then, where as it is reported that Ramandeep Singh has not fully recovered from the leg injury he suffered in the Champions Trophy in June this year.
Rupinder Pal Singh’s exclusion has come as a surprise, though he was also overlooked for the Asian Champions Trophy, as he is the most experienced drag flicker India had in the probables’ list.
India open their World Cup campaign against South Africa on 28 November.
About the Author
Suposh Sharma, keenly follows Hockey, Athletics, and other Olympic sports. He also has a penchant for writing humour and is an avid traveller