India announced their 18-member squad for the upcoming Hockey Asia Cup in Dhaka. Midfielder Manpreet Singh has been handed the reign of the team while SV Sunil will be his deputy. The tournament is scheduled to begin from October 11 and run till 22.
The key changes in the squad that went on the Europe Tour is the return of defenders Harmanpreet Singh and Surender Kumar. Seasoned campaigners Sardar Singh Sunil, Akashdeep Singh and Satbir Singh also mark a return to the team.
Goalkeepers Akash Chikte and Suraj Karkera, who also went on the Europe Tour, have been successful to retain their spot in the squad.
“I am looking forward to working with the team which has been picked to have a good blend of experience and youth. The upcoming Hero Asia Cup 2017 will be our first tournament together, and I am very excited to see how the team expresses their leadership qualities on the field,” chief coach Sjoerd Marijne said.
“I have previously watched the team live in Netherlands, and I feel that the energy within the team and their play is very impressive. We will be focusing on performing well as a team and will be aiming to win the tournament,” he added.
In the eight-team tournament, India are placed in Group A alongside Bangladesh, Japan and Pakistan. They will open their campaign against Japan on October 11. Their second match will be against Bangladesh on October 13 before they face their arch-rivals Pakistan on October 15, 2017.
Squad: Goalkeepers: Akash Chikte, Suraj Karkera; Defenders: Dipsan Tirkey, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar; Midfielders: SK Uthappa, Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Sumit; Forwards: SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh, Satbir Singh.