Hockey India on Monday named the 18-member Indian Men’s Hockey Team for Asian Games 2018, which begins on 18th August in Indonesia’a capital city Jakarta Palembang. India won the gold in the last edition in Incheon by defeating arch-rivals Pakistan in a penalty shoot out to directly qualify for Rio Olympics 2016.
PR Sreejesh, who was named the best goalkeeper of the Champion trophy 2018, where India won a silver was again named captain of the team and Chinglensana Singh was made his deputy. India will again rely on the experience of Sardar Singh and Manpreet Singh in the midfied. They will be accompanied by Vivek Sagar Prasad and 2016 Junior world cup winning member Simranjeet Singh.
India’s forwardline marked the return of Akashdeep Singh to the squad after missing out from CT18′ and will be accompanied by the experienced SV Sunil, Mandeep Singh and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay. Young Dilpreet Singh also managed to make it into the squad.
Team got a big boost after Rupinder Pal Singh returned to the squad on the back of some impressive performances for India “A” against Bangladesh at Bengaluru. He will strengthen the defensive line and also his fierce penalty corner conversion rate makes him an asset for the team. The backline will also see three other dragflickers Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar and Amit Rohidas apart from the experienced Surender Kumar and Birendra Lakra.
Speaking about the team composition, Chief Coach Harendra Singh said, “We have a great mix of players who have shown their abilities in the recent tournaments. Though it is unfortunate we will be missing out on Ramandeep Singh’s experience as he is ruled out of the Asian Games due to a recent knee surgery he underwent. But it is good to have Akashdeep Singh back in the mix. Both Rupinder and Akashdeep have remained in camp when the team was away in Breda and have had good match practice against Bangladesh over the past week and are raring to go.”
The 18-members who returned from Breda have joined the rest of the core group at ongoing National Camp in Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru after a short five-day break. The next three weeks in camp will see a mix of players take on the Korean National Team in five practice matches and the New Zealand national team in three matches ahead of the all-important Asian Games.
“While the practice matches against Korea will have a mix of players from the core group, the matches against New Zealand will be played by the 18 members who are selected for the Asian Games. I believe this will be good for the team in their preparation for the Asian Games where we will certainly go for the Gold to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” expressed Harendra Singh.
Indian Men’s Hockey Team for Asian Games 2018
1. PR Sreejesh (Captain)
2. Krishan B Pathak
3. Harmanpreet Singh
4. Varun Kumar
5. Birendra Lakra
6. Surender Kumar
7. Rupinder Pal Singh
8. Amit Rohidas
9. Manpreet Singh
10. Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (Vice-Captain)
11. Simranjeet Singh
12. Sardar Singh
13. Vivek Sagar Prasad
14. S V Sunil
15. Mandeep Singh
16. Akashdeep Singh
17. Lalit Kumar Upadhyay
18. Dilpreet Singh