The Indian hockey association has announced the whole squad for Common Wealth Games. And some famous names are making a return to the team.
For starters, Manpreet Singh is returning to the field as the side’s captain. The drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh will accompany him as deputy.
This was a last-minute change inflicted due to the postponement of the Asian games. Earlier it was decided that India would send a second-string team to CWG. The HI wanted to send a solid squad for the Asian Games as it would work as a direct qualifier for the 2024 Olympics.
India to send a strong squad for CWG
However, things didn’t turn out well for the Asian Games. Keeping in mind the covid situation in China, the tournament was postponed for next year. As a result, the association decided to send a stronger team to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The team will see the return of their Olympic Bronze Medalist captain Manpreet Singh. He will take the reigns from Amit Rohidas, who captained the side during FIH pro league matches.
Talking about the strength of the squad, Indian coach Graham Reid said, “We have gone with a tried-and-tested team for the Commonwealth Games. These players have the experience of playing top teams in high-pressure games….” Reports Times of India.
He further mentioned that the FIH tour of the Netherlands provided his team with a well-required exposure ahead of the formidable challenge of CWG.
The remainder of the Indian squad includes senior goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and Krishna B Pathak, who rejoins the team after an injury break. Defenders like Arun Kumar, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Sing Amit Rohidas, Jugraj Singh, and Jarmanpreet Singh will also make a comeback.
While strikers like Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar, Gurjant Singh, and Abhishek will also be seen in action.
Suraj Karkera, Shilanand Lakra, and Sukhjeet Singh miss to make a cut from the team that partook in the FIH Pro League.
India will kick off their campaign against Ghana on 31st July. They are placed in Pool B along with hosts England, Canada, Wales, and Ghana.
They failed to accumulate any medal in the 2018 edition of the tournament. And will be hoping to rectify that mistake in this edition.
The Full Squad of Indian Hockey Team
Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak DEFENDERS: Varun Kumar, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh (VC), Amit Rohidas, Jugraj Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh.
Midfielders: Manpreet Singh (C), Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Shamsher Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Nilakanta Sharma
Forwards: Mandeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Abhishek.