Seasoned goalkeeper PR Sreejesh made a comeback while former skipper Sardar Singh was dropped from the 18-member Indian hockey squad led by Manpreet Singh for the upcoming 21st Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, reports News18.
The Indian team are in Pool B along with Pakistan, Malaysia, Wales, England and will begin their campaign on April 7 against Pakistan.
While Manpreet dons the captain’s armband, the responsibilities of his deputy will be shouldered by Chinglensana Singh Kangujam.
The report noted that it was under Manpreet’s leadership the Indian team lifted the coveted Asia Cup 2017 followed by a bronze medal feat at the Men’s Hockey World League Final in Bhubaneswar, last year.
Veteran custodian Sreejesh is back after having suffered a medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury during the Azlan Shah tournament in 2017. His brilliant show during the New Zealand tour saw him get his rightful place back.
He will be backed by the 22-year-old talent Suraj Karkera who played a crucial part in the team’s good show in Bhubaneswar last year in his senior counterpart’s absence.
Sardar’s exclusion was on expected lines as he performed below-par at this year’s Azlan Shah tournament. However a few eyebrows were raised with Ramandeep Singh being dropped despite his decent show in the same tournament, the report added.
Youngsters Dilpreet Singh and Vivek Sagar Prasad, who made their international debut during the New Zealand tour have been rewarded with this opportunity for their good show. Both the players scored in important games.
Freeman and drag-flick expert Rupinder Pal Singh will form India’s wall of defence along with Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh, Gurinder Singh and Amit Rohidas.
India’s midfield will see skipper 25 year-old Manpreet Singh in the lead role, ably supported by the experience of Chinglensana along with young blood in Sumit and Vivek.
The Indian attack will feature a lethal combination between experience and youth as SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh and Dilpreet Singh are all in the team.
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