PR Sreejesh, 30, is one of the most experienced campaigners in India’s 16-men squad for the upcoming Rio 2016 Olympics. Ever since he made his junior debut in 2004, he has been a rock in front of the goal. Making those crucial saves in crunch situations, Sreejesh, for years now, has been a cool customer, at whatever level he has played. After waiting on the bench due to presence of senior goalies Adrian D’Souza and Bharat Chettri, the regular spot came his way in 2011, and he made sure to make it count.
Sreejesh made crucial saves in the 2014 Asian Champions Trophy Final against Pakistan, and was impressive in India’s 2014 Commonwealth Games performance where the team settled for silver. In absence of seniors and regulars, he led the side in the 2016 Champions Trophy and won many hearts as the team ended up with a silver after a spirited effort against Australia in the final.
The big announcement followed after his consistent performances as the 30-year-old was handed over the captaincy for the Summer Games. He replaced Sardar Singh who barely managed to keep his spot in the 16.
Event: Men’s hockey
Event Schedule: India commence their campaign against Ireland on August 6, play Germany on August 8, Argentina on August 9, Netherlands on August 11 before concluding the group stage against Canada on August 12
Qualification: India secured the berth after Asian Games gold
Record: India have won 11 Olympic medals, including eight golds. The last medal came way back at the Moscow Games in 1980
Squad: PR Sreejesh (captain and GK), Harmanpreet Singh (defender), Rupinder Pal Singh (defender), Kothajit Singh (defender), Surendar Kumar (defender), Manpreet Singh (midfielder), Sardar Singh (midfielder), VR Raghunath (defender), SK Uthappa (midfielder), Danish Mujtaba (midfielder), Devender Walmiki (midfielder), SV Sunil (forward and vice-captain), Akashdeep Singh (forward), Chinglensana Singh (midfielder), Ramandeep Singh (forward), Nikkin Thimmaiah (forward)
Coach: Roelant Oltmans