Olympic Qualifiers: Indian men, women teams named

Olympic Qualifiers: Indian men, women teams named
Olympic Qualifiers: Indian men, women teams named
Hockey India sprang no surprises as it named both men and women teams for the ensuing Olympic Qualifier games to be played at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on November 1 and 2. While Indian men will take on Russia, the USA will oppose the Indian women’s hockey team in the double game qualifiers.
The Indian men’s team will be led by Manpreet Singh with winger SV Sunil as his deputy while, the command of the women’s team will remain with  Rani, with Savita serving as her deputy.
The two teams are scheduled to take play in the two-legged FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers Odisha where the World no. 5 Indian men’s team will be up against World no. 22 Russia, and the World no. 9 Indian women’s team will face World no. 13 USA.
The Indian men’s team comprises of Goalkeepers PR Sreejesh and Krishan Bahadur Pathak, while the outfield players named in the side include experienced drag-flicker Rupinderpal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Surender Kumar, Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas, Captain Manpreet Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Simranjeet Singh along with experienced attacking players in Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, vice-captain SV Sunil, Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, and Ramandeep Singh.
Indian men’s  Chief Coach Graham Reid spoke on the composition of his side, “After a good preparation tour in Belgium, it was always going to be a very difficult decision to pick the best 18 players for this tournament. We have chosen a well-balanced side with a number of good flexible options. We now need to focus on strategies against Russia, and ensure we are at our best when we step onto the field on 1st and 2nd November.”
Meanwhile, the Indian women’s team remained unchanged from its tour of England. Experienced Goalkeepers Savita and Rajani Etimarpu will guard the goal, while drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur, Deep Grace Ekka, Reena Khokhar, Salima Tete, Namita Toppo, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Neha Goyal, Lilima Minz, Captain Rani, Vandana Katariya, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur and Sharmila Devi will serve as the outfield players.
“We have retained the 18-member team from our preparatory tour of England. We have a good balance and mixture of players in the squad and keeping in mind our objective of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics 2020, I feel it is important to stay in the rhythm with the same players who performed well in the preparatory tour. We now focus on making sure that we leave no stone unturned when we take on the USA in the two matches,” expressed Indian women’s  Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne on his side.
The winners of the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers Odisha will qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The winners will be determined as follows: teams will be ranked according to the number of points each has accumulated in both matches (for each match, 3 points are awarded to the winner, 1 point to each team in the event of a draw and 0 points to the loser). If there is equality among the two teams, then the teams will be ranked according to their respective goal difference.
If equality remains, a shoot-out competition will be played to establish the winner. Therefore, the objective of both the Indian men’s and women’s teams will be to secure direct qualification for the Tokyo 2020 hockey tournaments – which will be staged in Japan’s capital city from July  25  to  August 7 next year and involve 12 Men’s and 12 Women’s teams.
Indian Men’s Hockey Team:
1. PR Sreejesh
2. Krishan Bahadur Pathak
3. Harmanpreet Singh
4. Varun Kumar
5. Surender Kumar
6. Gurinder Singh
7. Rupinder Pal Singh
8. Amit Rohidas
9. Manpreet Singh (Captain)
10. Nilakanta Sharma
11. Hardik Singh
12. Vivek Sagar Prasad
13. Lalit Kumar Upadhyay
14. SV Sunil (Vice-Captain)
15. Mandeep Singh
16. Akashdeep Singh
17. Ramandeep Singh
18. Simranjeet Singh
Indian Women’s Hockey Team: 
1. Savita (Vice-Captain)
2. Rajani Etimarpu
3. Deep Grace Ekka
4. Gurjit Kaur
5. Reena Khokhar
6. Salima Tete
7. Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam
8. Nikki Pradhan
9. Monika
10. Neha Goyal
11. Lilima Minz
12. Namita Toppo
13. Rani (Captain)
14. Vandana Katariya
15. Navneet Kaur
16. Lalremsiami
17. Navjot Kaur
18. Sharmila Devi
-PTC News