New Delhi, May 1 (IANS) Manpreet Singh will lead the 18-member Indian men’s Hockey team on the Australia Tour, slated to begin on May 10, Hockey India has announced.
The Indian team, under newly-appointed Chief Coach Graham Reid, will feature PR Sreejesh and Krishan B Pathak guarding the goalpost in the four-match tour while experienced defender and drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh has been called-up after nearly eight months since he last played for India at the 18th Asian Games.
He will be joined by Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Birender Lakra, Gurinder Singh and Kothajit Singh in the backline.
Midfielders Hardik Singh, Manpreet Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad and Nilakanta Sharma have been named in the squad along with Jalandhar-born 25-year-old midfielder Jaskaran Singh who has been given an opportunity to make his international debut in Australia. The forward line will see Akashdeep Singh, who was rested for the season opener in Ipoh, Malaysia, return to the team along with Armaan Qureshi, Mandeep Singh, Sumit Kumar Jr. and Gursahibjit Singh.
Speaking about the importance of the tour ahead of the FIH Men’s Hockey Series Final Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019, Chief Coach Graham Reid said: “This tour will provide me with a great chance to get to know this group of players. It comprises a well-balanced mix, including some younger players, a debutant and a player coming back from long-term injury.”
“To be able to play four matches against a world class opposition including a match against club Western Australia Thundersticks will be a great opportunity to test our players under pressure. It provides the ideal preparation for FIH Men’s Hockey Series Final Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019 in June,” he added.
Goalkeepers: Krishan B Pathak, PR Sreejesh
Defenders: Rupinder Pal Singh, Surender Kumar (Vice-Captain), Harmanpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, Gurinder Singh, Kothajit Singh
Midfielders: Hardik Singh, Manpreet Singh (Captain), Jaskaran Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta Sharma
Forwards: Mandeep Singh, Gursahibjit Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Sumit Kumar, Armaan Qureshi