Manpreet named captain, four players recalled for Asians
Versatile mid-fielder Manpreet Singh on Wednesday returned as captain of the Indian hockey team while defender Kothajit Singh Khadangbam was recalled in the 18-member squad for the 5th Hero Asian Champions Trophy to be played in Muscat, Oman from October 18 to 28.
New Delhi: Versatile mid-fielder Manpreet Singh on Wednesday returned as captain of the Indian hockey team while defender Kothajit Singh Khadangbam was recalled in the 18-member squad for the 5th Hero Asian Champions Trophy to be played in Muscat, Oman from October 18 to 28.
Manpreet, who had led the national team earlier, replaces veteran goal-keeper PR Srejesh, who however has been retained in the squad.
Chinglensana Singh was named as the Vice-Captain of the team in which in the 20-year-old defender Hardik Singh will be making his debut for the Senior team.
India go into the tournament as the defending champions as they won the 2016 edition beating Pakistan 3-2 in the final in Kauntan, Malaysia.
Along with an experienced Goalkeeper in PR Sreejesh, team also features young Goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak, .
Experienced Kothajit Singh Khadangbam inclusion will strengthen the defence and he will have Harmanpreet, Gurinder Singh, Varun Kumar, Surender Kumar and Jarmanpreet Singh to strengthens this department.
Manpreet, who on Tuesday received this year’s Arjuna Award, will be commanding the midfield along with the experienced Chinglensana Singh Kangujam. The duo will be joined by Lalit Kumar Upadhyay along with Nilakanta Sharma and Sumit who also make a comeback into the side.
Forward-line will see 23-year-old striker Gurjant Singh return to the squad while Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh and Dilpreet Singh will hope to score plenty of goals in Oman to help India retain the title.
About the team composition chief coach Harendra Singh opined “I believe we have a great mix of players. There is a right balance between youth and experience. The tournament gives us the last chance to test a few players before the World Cup.
“I’m sure that these players will produce the results in Oman. It is important we stick to our plans and have a good outing in this tournament so that we can wash away the bad memories of the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, and start fresh in the build-up to the World Cup in Odisha.” he added.
Training in Odisha
The Indian team will continue to train in Bhubaneswar, for the next three weeks where they are undergoing a National Coaching Camp, post which they will leave for Muscat
The World No. 5 team will be up against the likes of Malaysia, Pakistan, South Korea, Japan and hosts Oman, with all the teams playing round-robin matches to progress to the Semifinals, with the Bronze Medal and Final match taking place on October 28.