Bhubaneswar. Olympic bronze medalist captain Manpreet Singh will captain India’s 20-man men’s hockey team in next month’s Hero Asian Champions Trophy in Dhaka, while veteran goalkeeper PR Sreejesh is not in the squad. Star drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh will be the vice-captain of the team. This tournament will be played from 14 to 22 December. This is India’s first tournament after the Tokyo Olympics and many new faces have been included in the team.
Sreejesh has been rested and goalkeeping will be with KB Pathak and Suraj Karkera. In defense, Harmanpreet Singh will be accompanied by Gurinder Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh, Neelam Sanjeep Sess, Dipsan Tirkey, Varun Kumar and Mandeep Mor.
The midfield will be commanded by Manpreet, Hardik Singh, Jaskaran Singh, Sumit, Rajkumar Pal, Shamsher Singh and Akashdeep Singh. In the forward row, Lalit Upadhyay, Dilpreet Singh, Gursahibjit Singh, Shilanand Lakra will be there. Defending champions India will face Korea on the first day. Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan and Bangladesh will also play in the tournament.
Head coach Graham Reid said, “We have selected the team keeping the future in mind. It is necessary to give opportunities to the players, then only a strong team will be ready. This team has both young and experienced players.” India will play Korea on 14 December, Bangladesh on 15, Pakistan on 17, Malaysia on 18 and Japan on 19 December. The semi-finals will be played on December 21 and the final on December 22. Last time in the tournament played in Oman, the final could not be held due to heavy rain, then India and Pakistan were declared joint winners.
Team: Goalkeepers: Krishan Bahadur Pathak, Suraj Karkera Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh, Neelam Sanjeep Sess, Dipson Tirkey, Varun Kumar and Mandeep Mor Midfielders: Manpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Jaskaran Singh, Sumit, Rajkumar Pal, Shamsher Singh and Akashdeep Singh Forwards: Lalit Upadhyay, Dilpreet Singh, Gursahibjit Singh, Shilanand Lakra
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