Hockey India on Wednesday announced 18-member Indian squad for Asian Champions trophy 2018, which is schedule to take place in Oman from 18-28 October. Midfielder Manpreet Singh, who yesterday received the prestigious Arjuna award will be back to lead India by overtaking PR Sreejesh. Mid-fielder Chinglensana Singh will be deputy to Manpreet Singh in the tournament.
India will start as the defending champions, having won the 2016 edition by defeating arch-rivals Pakistan in the final 3-2.
With 2 months left for the Hockey World cup, selectors have given chance to many young and upcoming players to showcase their skills at the International level.
20-year-old Hardik Singh from Punjab will be making his India debut and will take the defensive position alongside Kothajit Singh(Manipur) and Harmanpreet Singh(Punjab). Other defenders include Gurinder Singh(Punjab) , Varun Kumar(Punjab) , Surender Kumar(Haryana) and Jarmanpreet Singh(Punjab) .
Manpreet(Punjab) will guard the mid-field alongside Chinglensana Singh(Manipur), Sumit Kumar(Haryana) , Lalit Kumar Upadhyay(Uttar Pradesh) and Nilakanta Sharma(Madhya Pradesh) .
The onus to score goals will be on Gurjant Singh(Punjab), Mandeep Singh(Punjab), Akashdeep Singh(Punjab) and Dilpreet Singh(Punjab).
Goalkeeping duties will be taken by experienced PR Sreejesh(Kerala) and Krishan Bahadur Pathak.
What coach Harendra Singh said
“I believe we have a great mix of players in this 18-member team as there is a right balance between youth and experience,” he said
“The tournament gives us the last chance to test a few players before the World Cup Bhubaneswar and 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 Asian Games,” he added.
India will face the likes of Malaysia, Pakistan, South Korea, Japan and hosts Oman in the tournament. The round-robin based tournament will see top 4 teams qualify for the semi-final.
Indian team for Asian Champions trophy 2018
Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak
Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Surender Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh, Hardik Singh
Midfielders: Manpreet Singh (Captain), Sumit Nilakanta Sharma, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (Vice Captain)
Forwards: Akashdeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh