The Indian men’s and women’s 18-member squad for the Hockey Olympic Qualifiers was announced on Friday. It sees the inclusion of Rupinder Pal Singh after he caught the eye of the coaches during the recent Europe tour.
Birendra Lakra and Kothajit Singh were the two that missed out from the 20-member side that toured Europe for a five-match series. Inclusion of Rupinder sees India strengthen their arsenal in the penalty corner department.
Chief coach Graham Reid said that the side was well balanced and consisted of a number of options to choose from.
“We have chosen a well balanced side with a number of good flexible options. We now need to focus on strategies against Russia, and ensure we are at our best when we step onto the field on 1st and 2nd November,” said Graham Reid.
Meanwhile the women’s team retained the same 18 that toured Europe. The team’s coach Sjoerd Marijne expressed confidence in his players after a good outing in Europe that saw them lose just one match.
P.R. Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Surender Kumar, Gurinder Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Amit Rohidas, Manpreet Singh (Captain), Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, S.V. Sunil (Vice-Captain), Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Simranjeet Singh.
Savita (Vice-Captain), Rajani Etimarpu, Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur, Reena Khokhar, Salima Tete, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Neha Goyal, Lilima Minz, Namita Toppo, Rani Rampal(Captain), Vandana Katariya, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur, Sharmila Devi.