Rupin­der Pal, SV Su­nil ex­cluded from In­dia’s hockey World Cup 2018 squad

The Northlines - - SPORTS -

Man­preet Singh will lead In­dia’s 18-mem­ber hockey squad for the FIH World Cup be­gin­ning in Bhubaneswar on Novem­ber 28 but the ex­pe­ri­enced Rupin­der Pal Singh and SV Su­nil missed out from the team an­nounced on Thurs­day.

Rupin­der Pal has been ignored again af­ter be­ing dropped from the con­ti­nen­tal event last month. Su­nil too did not play in the tour­na­ment in which In­dia were de­clared joint win­ners with Pak­istan af­ter rain played spoil­sport on the fi­nal day.

The In­dian team, which will play their against South Africa on the open­ing day, fea­tures PR Sree­jesh and Kr­is­han Ba­hadur Pathak as goal­keep­ers. Man­preet’s deputy will be Chin­glen­sana Singh Kan­gu­jam, Hockey In­dia said in a state­ment.

Odisha’s ex­pe­ri­enced de­fender Biren­dra Lakra, who makes a come­back into the team af­ter miss­ing out in Mus­cat due to re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, Amit Ro­hi­das, Suren­der Ku­mar, Kotha­jit Singh, 2016 Ju­nior World Cup win­ners Har­man­preet Singh and Varun Ku­mar will form In­dia’s de­fence with three of them be­ing drag-flick spe­cial­ists.

The mid­field will fea­ture the dy­namic Man­preet, who played a piv­otal role in In­dia’s cam­paign as de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons at the Asian Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy.

Chin­glen­sana will add to the ex­pe­ri­ence in the cen­ter along with young guns Su­mit, Ni­lakanta Sharma and Hardik Singh, who made his in­ter­na­tional de­but last month. The for­ward line has the ex­pe­ri­enced Akashdeep Singh, Dil­preet Singh, Lalit Upad­hyay and Ju­nior World Cup win­ners Man­deep Singh, Sim­ran­jeet Singh. In­dia, grouped in Pool C along with World No.3 Bel­gium, Canada and South Africa, will need to fin­ish on top of the pool to se­cure a place in the quar­ter­fi­nals.

“We have cho­sen the best avail­able com­bi­na­tions for the World Cup. We had to make some tough de­ci­sions to se­lect 18 out of a very strong pool of 34 play­ers,” as­serted Chief Coach Haren­dra Singh. “The fi­nal 18 are a mix of ex­pe­ri­enced and youth and have been se­lected on the ba­sis of their cur­rent form and fit­ness.

“These play­ers have con­sis­tently shown their po­ten­tial in the lead up to the show­piece event and I am con­fi­dent In­dia will put up a fight­ing per­for­mance,” he added. The core group of 34 will con­tinue to train in Bhubaneswar till Novem­ber 23 be­fore it plays its World Cup opener.

Goal­keep­ers: PR Sree­jesh, Kr­is­han Ba­hadur Pathak De­fend­ers: Har­man­preet Singh, Biren­dra Lakra, Varun Ku­mar, Kotha­jit Singh Khadan­g­bam, Suren­der Ku­mar, Amit Ro­hi­das Mid­field­ers: Man­preet Singh ( Cap­tain), Chin­glen­sana Singh Kan­gu­jam ( Vice Cap­tain), Ni­lakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Su­mit

For­wards: Akashdeep Singh, Man­deep Singh, Dil­preet Singh, Lalit Ku­mar Upad­hyay, Sim­ran­jeet Singh.

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