PR Sreejesh has been chosen to lead the Indian team that also includes Rupinder Pal Singh, Akashdeep Singh, and Sardar Singh, at the 2018 Asian Games, Hockey India announced today. It was also revealed that Chinglensana will act as Sreejesh’s deputy for the tournament which will be held in August.
However, India replaced Jarmanpreet Singh with the experienced Rupinder Pal Singh, who was rested for the Champions Trophy with a number of high profile tournaments coming up later this year. Akashdeep Singh also came back into the fray to replace the injured Ramandeep Singh, who picked up an injury to his right knee in the Champions Trophy.
The Indian midfield includes the likes of Chinglensana Singh, who will also deputize for Sreejesh, Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh, Simranjeet Singh, and Vivek Sagar. The forward line is equally if not more impressive with Akashdeep, SV Sunil, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, and Dilpreet Singh leading the line. The
"We have a great mix of players who have shown their abilities in recent tournaments. But it is unfortunate we will be missing Ramandeep Singh's experience as he is ruled out of the Asian Games due to a recent knee surgery," Harendra said, reported PTI.
"It is good to have Akashdeep Singh back in the mix. Both Rupinder and Akashdeep have remained in camp when the team was away in Breda and have had good match practice against Bangladesh over the past week and are raring to go."
Harendra also revealed that India would play Korea five times and New Zealand thrice as practice ahead of the main event that will start on August 18.
"While the practice matches against Korea will have a mix of players from the core group, the matches against New Zealand will be played by the 18 members who are selected for the Asian Games," he revealed.
"I believe this will be good for the team in their preparation for the Asian Games where we will certainly go for the gold to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”
Goalkeepers:PR Sreejesh (Captain), Krishan B Pathak
Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Birendra Lakra, Surender Kumar, Rupinder Pal Singh, Amit Rohidas
Midfielders: Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (Vice-Captain), Simranjeet Singh, Sardar Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad
Forwards: SV Sunil, Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Dilpreet Singh.
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