Hockey India has officially announced their 20-member men’s senior team squad for the upcoming Asia Cup taking place from 23rd May to 1st June in Jakarta, with drag flicker Rupinder Pal Singh named as the captain of the team.
The Asia Cup, which is a World Cup qualifier event, will see the defending champions India competing in pool A alongside Japan, Pakistan as well as the hosts Indonesia, while Malaysia, Korea, Oman, and Bangladesh comprise pool B.
Seasoned defender Rupinder will be leading the contingent, along with vice-captain Birendra Lakra. A total of 10 players will make their senior debut, including players who participated in the FIH Hockey men’s Junior World Cup such as Yashdeep Siwach, Abhisek Lakra, Manjeet, Vishnukant Singh and Uttam Sing, while newcomers such as Mareeswaren Sakthivel, Sheshe Gowda BM, Pawan Rajbhar, Abharan Sudev and S Karthi.
“The team is a good mix of experienced senior players and newcomers, many of whom have played at the international level in different age-group matches but have not made their senior India debut,” said coach BJ Kariappa on the squad formation,“Since India has already qualified for the FIH Men’s World Cup by virtue of being the hosts, this will be a good platform for us to try out this new group and test how these players utilize the opportunity.”
“This is a very talented group of players and I have seen them work really hard over the past few weeks to earn a place in the team,” said Sardar Singh, former Indian skipper and two time Olympian set to join the contingent as a coach, “On a personal front, this will be my first tournament as India Coach and I am looking forward to this new experience.”
Check out the full squad below-
- Goalkeepers: Pankaj Kumar Rajak, Suraj Karkera
- Defenders: Rupinder Pal Singh (Captain), Yashdeep Siwach, Abhisek Lakra, Birendra Lakra (vice-captain), Manjeet, Dipsan Tirkey
- Midfielders: Vishnukant Singh, Raj Kumar Pal, Mareeswaren Sakthivel, Sheshe Gowda BM, Simranjeet Singh
- Forwards: Pawan Rajbhar, Abharan Sudev, SV Sunil, Uttam Singh, S.Karthi
- Replacement Players: Maninder Singh, Nilam Sanjeep Xess
- Standbys: Pawan, Pardeep Singh, Ankit Pal, Angad Bir Singh
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