Indian hockey squad include six uncapped players who will have a chance to make their mark during India’s tour of Belgium and Netherlands. India will be led by Manpreet Singh as they will face Belgium in their first match in Boom on August 9.
Chinglensana Singh has been given the role of vice-captain and the team have decided to rest some key players who made the appearances in the World League Semifinal. Suraj Karkerawho is one of the uncapped players who could make his debut during the tour as a goalkeeper.
He could not participate in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup earlier this year due to an injury. The remaining five uncapped players include Varun Kumar, Dipsan Tirkey, Nilakanta Sharma, Gurjant Singh and Armaan Qureshi.
The talented defender and drag flicker Amit Rohidas is also part of the squad who showed some amazing performances, while playing for Kalinga Lancers, who won the 2017 HIL tournament.
“We will continue to test some of the younger players in this tour in order to give them the international exposure in this new Olympic cycle. The team has been training in SAI Bengaluru where we have been working on improving our counter control and defence apart from working on variations that can improve our goal scoring.” said coach Roelant Oltmans.
“It is important for the youngsters to face top teams like the Netherlands and Belgium early in their career which will undoubtedly benefit our long-term goals.”, he added.
India will play five matches on their Europe tour. Ahead of their departure, the national squad will continue their training till August 5.
Goalkeepers: Akash Anil Chikte, Suraj Karkera; Defenders: Dipsan Tirkey, Kothajit Singh, Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas, Varun Kumar; Midfielders: SK Uthappa, Harjeet Singh Manpreet Singh (Captain), Chinglensana Singh (Vice-Captain) Sumit Nilakanta Sharma; Forwards: Mandeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh, Armaan Qureshi.