Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh has been recalled to the 20-member Indian Hockey Team for the four-nation tournament in New Zealand, beginning January 17. Last week, he was handed a 12-month probation by Hockey India for taking part in a celebrity charity football match in Mumbai last year.
Sreejesh, who has missed the last eight months due to a knee injury, was also banned for 15 days, which ended on Friday. However, after the ban came to an end, he has been selected in the team as the main goalkeeper and will be joined by young goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak, a member of the 2016 Junior World Cup-winning team. Pathak was also part of the India 'A' team which participated in the Australian Hockey League in September.
Apart from Pathak, forward Dilpreet Singh and midfielder Vivek Sagar Prasad have also been rewarded for their promising performance at the Sultan of Johor Cup last year where the team returned home with the bronze medal.
Rupinder Pal Singh will spearhead the defense alongside Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar and the trio will double up their role as drag-flickers on penalty corners as well. They will also be joined by Birendra Lakra, Surender Kumar, and Gurinder Singh in the
While skipper Manpreet Singh will be the main man at the midfield, he will be supported by Chinglensana Singh, Harjeet Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, and Satbir Singh along with uncapped players Simranjeet Singh and Vivek Sagar Prasad. India's attack will be led by Ramandeep Singh along with Armaan Qureshi, Dilpreet Singh, Mandeep Singh, and Lalit Upadhyay.
With a strong team at his disposal, chief coach Sjoerd Marijne has stated that the team would like to perform consistently against higher-ranked teams.
"The team continues to remain a good mix of young and experienced players. They will get to show their abilities against top quality teams. This is an important year for us with major tournaments in the pipeline and one of our focus areas is to perform consistently especially against higher ranked teams," said chief coach Sjoerd Marijne, reported PTI.
"We use this tour for our preparation for the Commonwealth Games and look at progressing to the next level after the previous two tournaments."
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