Hockey World League Final | Sardar Singh dropped from Indian squad, Rupinder recalled

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Hockey World League Final | Sardar Singh dropped from Indian squad, Rupinder recalled

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SportsCafe Desk

11/17/2017

India have announced their 18-member squad for the upcoming Hockey World League Final in which former-skipper Sardar Singh was unable to find a spot. However, Hockey India have recalled Rupinder Pal Singh and midfielder Birendra Lakra for the tournament which will schedule from December 1st to 10th.

Sardar was part of the team that won the Asia Cup last month in Dhaka which means that HIhave taken a bold move by dropping him for the upcoming tournament which will be held in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha. In his absence, Manpreet Singh will continue to lead the side and vice-captain Chinglensana Singh will assist him. Forward Ramandeep Singh also missed the spot after suffering from an injury during the Asia Cup.

However, drag-flick specialist Rupinder Pal Singh and Birendra Larka have made comebacks after spending a lengthy period out on the sidelines. 

“It is good to have Rupinder, who brings great experience, as well as Birendra back in the team. Both are 100 percent fit and eager to wear the India colors again,” stated the 43-year-old Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne as quoted by The Indian Express.

Amit Rohidas has been rewarded for a strong showing in the Hockey India League and then a senior call, by getting a chance to wear the Indian jersey in front of his home crowd. 

“Amit was called-in as a replacement for Kothajit who had a hamstring injury just before we left for the Asia Cup. He flew in directly from Australia where he had played the Australian Hockey League for India ‘A’ team and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands,” stated the Dutchman.

India were facing a problem in converting penalty corners during the Asia Cup. But now, the team has more drag-flick options in the form of Rupinder, Harmanpreet, Varun, Amit, and Dipsan.

“We have five players in defence who can drag and have been putting in extra hours for PC training which is great for the team,” Sjoerd said.

He also claimed that the team is made up of experienced and young players which will benefit the team in the tournament.

“I think this is a great mix and would especially like to see how the youngsters soak up the pressure of playing against higher ranked teams in the world. We will have to play every match like it is the Final and will have absolutely no room to make errors if we want to see ourselves on the podium,” concluded Marijne.

India is in Group B along with Australia, England, and Germany. The Indian hockey team will play their first match against Australia on December 1.

SQUAD:

Goalkeepers: Akash Anil Chikte, Suraj Karkera

Defenders:Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Dipsan Tirkey, Varun Kumar, Rupinderpal Singh, Birendra Lakra

Midfielders: Manpreet Singh (C), Chinglensana Singh (VC), SK Uthappa, Sumit, Kothajit Singh

Forwards: SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh

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