After sharing the Asian Champions Trophy with Pakistan due to rain, India have started their preparations for the forthcoming Hockey World Cup. The tournament will commence from November 28 at Bhubaneshwar and wrap up by December 16. In addition, coach Harendra Singh stated that the national camp training will be the last chance for players to cement a spot in the World Cup squad.
Hockey India announced a 34-member core group for the final national camp before the season-ending men’s World Cup, and will now prove to be the last resort for players to showcase their mettle. The 23-day camp will commence from November 1 at the Kalinga Stadium, and the 34 campers will report to Harendra. Eventually, the camp will give Harendra a chance to work with the core group and pick his final 18-member squad.
Harendra stated, “Our campaign at the 5th Men Asian Champions Trophy Muscat 2018 served as good preparation for the team before the World Cup, but now is the most critical time for us as we look to reinvigorate our spirits and work on the areas which need improvement. The camp will give all the 34 core group players the chance to work hard and show what edge they can provide to the team. It is now time for all the core group players to step up and show what they can bring to the table.”
The 34-member core group includes three goalkeepers -- PR Sreejesh, Suraj Karkera and Krishan Pathak. In defence, Harmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Surender Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Jarmanpreet Singh, Pardeep Singh, Suman Beck and captain of the junior men's team for the Sultan of Johor Cup 2018, Mandeep Mor, have been called up. Among midfielders, Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Sumit, Simranjeet Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Yashdeep Siwach and Vishal Antil have all been included.
Akashdeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Sumit Kumar, Gursahibjit Singh and Shilanand Lakra will try hard to cement slots in the forwardline.
Ace striker Ramandeep Singh, who underwent a knee surgery after sustaining an injury during the Champions Trophy earlier this year, along with seasoned defenders Rupinder Pal Singh and Birendra Lakra, have also been included in the camp. On the other hand, experienced forward SV Sunil (who suffered a ligament injury on his left knee in the previous camp) have also been included. However, it remains unclear whether he has fully recovered from the ailment.
About the Author
Aditya Sahay, a former cricket reporter/writer and statistician, has shifted gears to other sports (primarily badminton, tennis, kabaddi, hockey, golf etc). While cricket remains his first love, he enjoys covering and writing on kabaddi, hockey and tennis. He dons Germanys jersey during FIFA and believes Dhoni Dhoni hai, isko (aur) mauka mila toh bahut aage jayega