Hockey India on Thursday, November 11, announced their 18-member squad for the FIH Men's Hockey Junior World Cup 2021, scheduled to begin in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, from November 24. India are the defending champions, having won the last tournament back in 2016, in Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow.
Vivek Sagar Prasad, who was part of the bronze-medal winning team in Tokyo Olympics, has been handed the responsibility of leading the Indian team. Defender Sanjay, who won silver at the Youth Olympic Games 2018 in Buenos Aires, has been chosen as the vice-captain. Apart from that, Dinachandra Singh Moirangthem and Boby Singh Dhami have been named as the reserve players, in case of any mishap to a player, during the tournament.
“We have chosen a group of players who we believe gives us the best chance of defending our title,” Graham Reid, the Indian men’s team chief coach, said. “It is a well-balanced side with a lot of flexibility and flair.
“The key to these guys performing on the big stage will be to trust in each other and trust in their preparation,” Reid added.
The Indian team is currently training at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, the venue for the World Cup. Meanwhile, India has been clubbed alongside Canada, France and Poland in Pool B. They begin their campaign against France on November 24. To progress into the quarters, Team India will have to finish in the top two.
Squad: Shardanand Tiwari, Prashant Chauhan (goalkeeper), Pawan (goalkeeper), Sanjay (vice-captain), Sudeep Chirmako, Rahul Kumar Rajbhar, Maninder Singh, Vishnukant Singh, Ankit Pal, Uttam Singh, Sunil Jojo, Manjeet, Rabichandra Singh Moirangthem, Vivek Sagar Prasad (captain), Abhishek Lakra, Yashdeep Siwach, Gurmukh Singh, Araijeet Singh Hundal
Reserves: Dinachandra Singh Moirangthem, Boby Singh Dhami