Manpreet  named captain, four players recalled for Asians

Harpal Singh Bedi
Thursday, 27 September 2018

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.

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