Lalit Upadhyay returns as Hockey India names 20-member men’s team for Belgium tour
Forward Lalit Upadhyay is going to make a comeback in the Indian men’s hockey team during the upcoming tour to Belgium from September 26 to October 3. The Indian men’s team will play three games against Belgium and two against Spain in the tour ahead of the FIH Olympic Qualifiers in November.
Manpreet Singh is also back in the team and so are other players those who were rested during the Olympic Test Event. Team India is all set for another exposure tour and this time to Europe ahead of the all-important FIH Olympic Qualifiers against Russia. The Olympic qualifying matches will be played on November 1 and 2 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar and before that, it will be a good tour for the team with all the senior players getting back to the team.
Chief coach Graham Reid has mentioned about fine-tuning a few aspects of the game for the players before the tour and said that the tour will be a perfect preparation for the Olympics qualifying event.
"All the players in the squad complement each other very well and we are hoping that the team continues its good form. We are delighted to have Lalit Kumar Upadhyay back in the squad as he will play a vital role in the forward line. It's fantastic to have Rupinder Pal Singh back in the side as well, he has improved his game since the FIH Men's Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019. We are still looking to fine-tune a few aspects of our game before we leave for Belgium," Reid was quoted as saying by the Hockey India.
"Belgium are a strong team and if we perform well against them at their own backyard then the team will gain a lot of confidence ahead of the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers match against Russia. This tour of Belgium will serve as the perfect preparation before the all-important FIH Olympic Qualifiers. We are expecting a tough challenge from Spain as well."
Harmanpreet Singh will be Manpreet’s deputy for the tour to Antwerp, Belgium with the team having senior players like Rupinder Pal Singh, PR Sreejesh, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh, Mandeep Singh, SV Sunil, Ramandeep Singh and Akashdeep Singh.
PR Sreejesh, Krishan B Pathak
Harmanpreet Singh (Vice-Captain), Surender Kumar, Birendra Lakra, Varun Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Gurinder Singh, Khadangbam Kothajit Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh
Manpreet Singh (Captain), Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta Sharma
Mandeep Singh, SV Sunil, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Ramandeep Singh, Simranjeet Singh, Akashdeep Singh