Hockey India, on Tuesday, announced the 18-man Indian squad that will travel to Gold Coast to take part in the Commonwealth Games, and have left out Sardar Singh and Ramandeep Singh. Manpreet Singh has been handed the captaincy for the Games while Chinglensana Singh will act as his deputy.
India’s hockey squad for the Commonwealth Games will be without veteran players Sardar Singh and Ramandeep Singh. India, who have been placed in Pool B alongside arch-rivals Pakistan, will have to face Malaysia, Wales, and England as they start their campaign on April 7.
While the exclusions came as a bit of a surprise, the captaincy did not. Manpreet Singh, who led the side to the Asia Cup win last year and followed it up with a bronze medal at the Men’s Hockey World League Final in Bhubaneswar, will lead the side at the Games.
Drag-flick specialist Rupinder Pal Singh will be a part of an Indian
Along with Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana, who will also have the added responsibility of being the vice-captain of the side, will be a part of a talented midfield that includes Sumit and Vivek Sagar Prasad. SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh and Dilpreet Singh have all been called up as well in order to strengthen India’s performance in the final third of the field.
“This team has been picked keeping in mind the team’s performance in the previous tournaments since the Asia Cup 2017. We have tried out different combinations in the past events and we believe this will be the most effective combination for the Gold Coast 2018 XXI Commonwealth Games,” said Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne, reported a Hockey India press release.
“This team has been improving with every match and while we could not produce a podium finish at the 27th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2018, it will have no influence on how we are going to play in Australia and we will be going there with a mindset to win.
“Our first aim is to do well in the group stage because we have some strong teams in our Pool. It’s extremely crucial to top our table and make the Semis but if we do meet Australia in the knockouts, I believe we will be up for a strong challenge.”