Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India]: Hockey India on Friday named the 20-member men’s team for the upcoming Men’s Asian Champions Trophy which is scheduled to be held between December 14-22.
Defending Champions India begin their campaign against South Korea. In this edition, they will battle it out against Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, and hosts Bangladesh in the single-pool tournament for top honours. The Indian team will see Manpreet Singh Captain the side along with Harmanpreet Singh who will be his deputy. The team includes goalkeepers Krishan B Pathak and Suraj Karkera. India’s defence will see Harmanpreet Singh lead the charge along with Gurinder Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Dipsan Tirkey, Varun Kumar, and Mandeep Mor. With this line-up, India will have four options for drag-flick. The midfield will see Hardik Singh, Manpreet Singh, Jaskaran Singh, Sumit, Rajkumar Pal, Shamsher Singh, and the experienced Akashdeep Singh.
The forward line will be led by Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Dilpreet Singh, Gursahibjit Singh and Shilanand Lakra.
Talking about the selection, Chief Coach (Men) Graham Reid said, “While selecting this team we now must have our eyes on the future. It takes a deep and strong squad to build sustained success so players have to be given opportunities to perform.”
“We have picked a team that has a good mix of experience and younger guys who will have their chance to show what they can do. It is a hectic match schedule and given the COVID situation FIH & AHF have allowed 18 players to be chosen each game out of a greater squad of 20. The Asian Champions Trophy is a World Class event that will provide all teams a fantastic opportunity to start the next Olympiad with much needed competition. We are looking forward to the challenge,” he added.
India will play their opening match against Korea, followed by their match against hosts Bangladesh on December 15. Their third match will be against arch-rivals Pakistan on December 17 and on December 18, India will take on Malaysia followed by their match against Japan on December 19.
The semi-finals will be played on December 21 followed by the Final on December 22. In the previous edition of this event held in Muscat, Oman, India had jointly lifted the title along with Pakistan as the Final was called off due to incessant rains.
Indian Men’s Hockey Team: Goalkeepers 1. Krishan Bahadur Pathak 2. Suraj Karkera; Defenders 3. Harmanpreet Singh (VC), 4. Gurinder Singh, 5. Jarmanpreet Singh, 6. Dipsan Tirkey, 7. Varun Kumar, 8. Nilam Sanjeep Xess, 9. Mandeep Mor; Midfielders 10. Hardik Singh, 11. Manpreet Singh (C), 12. Jaskaran Singh, 13. Sumit, 14. Rajkumar Pal, 15. Akashdeep Singh, 16 Shamsher Singh; Forwards 17. Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, 18. Dilpreet Singh, 19. Gursahibjit Singh and, 20. Shilanand Lakra.