Manpreet to lead India minus Harmanpreet, Akashdeep, SV Sunil at Ipoh
Drag flicker Harmanpreet Singh and forward Akashdeep Singh have failed to find the favour of selectors as Hockey India decided to rest them for the ensuing 28thSultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament to be played at Ipoh from March 23.
Midfielder Manpreet Singh has been retained to lead the 18-member team
The elite annual invitation tournament will see hosts Malaysia, Canada, Korea, South Africa, India and 18th Asian Games Champions Japan in the fray.
The Indian team features experienced goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and youngster Krishan B Pathak while the defence will see vice captain Surender Kumar joined by Gurinder Singh, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam along with dragflickers Varun Kumar and Amit Rohidas.
In the midfield skipper Manpreet Singh will lead the charge alongside young guns Vivek Sagar Prasad, Hardik Singh, Sumit and Nilakanta Sharma. The forward line will see Mandeep Singh, Simranjeet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Shilanand Lakra and Sumit Kumar.
The Indian team will start its campaign against Japan on March 23. It will miss the services of experienced forwards SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, and defenders Rupinder Pal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh as well as midfielder Chinglensana Singh who were unavailable for selection due to injuries, an HI communiqué said.
Junior players Vishal Antil and Pardeep Singh too were not available for selection due to injuries. These players will continue to undergo rehabilitation at the Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru.
“It is unfortunate we will be missing some key players for the 28th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2019 due to injuries. However, it is important for them to return to 100 per cent fitness ahead of the FIH Series Final, Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019 which is a crucial tournament in our quest for 2020 Olympic berth and hence will continue to remain in Bengaluru and work on their rehabilitation,” stated David John, Director High Performance, Hockey India.
Speaking about the Indian team for 28th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2019, John said, “It is a relatively young side but each of these players have tremendous potential and have a good amount of International exposure. It is important to see how they fair in Malaysia as it will show the depth we possess in the Core Group ahead of the Olympic Qualification events this year.”
The Indian Team will leave for Ipoh, Malaysia from Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru, on March 18.
1. Krishan B Pathak
2. P R Sreejesh
3. Gurinder Singh
4. Surender Kumar (Vice Captain)
5. Varun Kumar
6. Birendra Lakra
7. Amit Rohidas
8. Kothajit Singh Khadangbam
9. Hardik Singh
10. Nilakanta Sharma
12. Vivek Sagar Prasad
13. Manpreet Singh (Captain)
14. Mandeep Singh
15. Simranjeet Singh
16. Gurjant Singh
18. Sumit Kumar
– PTC NEWS