New Delhi, May 15 (IANS) Hockey India on Monday named a strong 24-member Indian Men’s Hockey Team for the next leg of the FIH Hockey Pro League in Europe starting May 26.
In their previous outing in the prestigious League matches at home, India remained unbeaten against reigning World Champions Germany and Australia which helped them top the points table. In Europe, they will hope to continue their winning momentum as they take on the formidable Belgium and Great Britain in London followed by matches against the Netherlands and Argentina in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
This will be the team’s first outing under newly-appointed Chief Coach Craig Fulton while the team will continue to be led by ace dragflicker and defender Harmanpreet Singh and Vice Captained by the prolific midfielder Hardik Singh.
The team features goalkeepers Krishan Bahadur Pathak. He returns to the squad after missing the home matches due to his wedding. He will be joined by PR Sreejesh in the goalpost while defenders list includes five penalty corner specialists in Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Jarmanpreet Singh, Sanjay and Mandeep Mor.
Manpreet Singh who was the cynosure of India’s midfield will be seen in a new role, playing in India’s backline along with Sumit and Gurinder Singh have also been named in the backline.
The midfield will be led by Vice Captain Hardik Singh along with Dilpreet Singh, Moirangthem Rabichandra Singh, Shamsher Singh, Akashdeep Singh and Vivek Sagar Prasad. India’s forward line sees the return of Simranjeet Singh who last played for India at the Asia Cup Jakarta but had to return home midway due to injury issues. He will be joined by a good mix of experienced and young set of strikers like Abhishek, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, S Karthi, Gurjant Singh, Sukhjeet Singh, Raj Kumar Pal and Mandeep Singh.
Speaking about the team selection, Chief Coach Craig Fulton said, “I am pleased with the team we have selected for the upcoming Pro League tournament against Belgium, Holland, Great Britain and Argentina. Our current world ranking of 4th reflects the team’s hard work and dedication post the World Cup. This tournament will be a great opportunity for us to compete against top-ranked teams and further improve our overall game. We are looking forward to the challenge and hope to have a strong finish to the pro league tournament.”
Indian Men’s Team:
Goalkeepers: Krishan Bahadur Pathak, PR Sreejesh
Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh (C), Amit Rohidas, Jarmanpreet Singh, Manpreet Singh, Sumit, Sanjay, Mandeep Mor, Gurinder Singh
Midfielders: Hardik Singh (VC), Dilpreet Singh, Moirangthem Rabichandra Singh, Shamsher Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad
Forwards: Abhishek, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, S Karthi, Gurjant Singh, Sukhjeet Singh, Raj Kumar Pal, Mandeep Singh, Simranjeet Singh