New Delhi, May 16: Ace drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh will lead the 24-member hockey team in the next leg of the FIH Pro League in Europe starting 26th May. Prolific midfielder Hardik Singh has been named vice-captain.
This will be the team’s first outing under newly-appointed Chief Coach Craig Fulton.
The team announced by Hockey India on Monday, includes goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak. He returns to the squad after missing the home matches due to his wedding. He will be joined by PR Sreejesh in the goalpost while defenders include five penalty corner specialists in Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Jarmanpreet Singh, Sanjay, and Mandeep Mor.
Former captain and midfielder Manpreet Singh will be seen in a new role, playing in backline along with Sumit and Gurinder Singh
The midfield will be spearheaded by Hardik Singh along with Dilpreet Singh, Moirangthem Rabichandra Singh, Shamsher Singh, Akashdeep Singh and Vivek Sagar Prasad.
Forward, Simranjeet Singh who last played at the Asia Cup Jakarta but had to return home midway due to injury issues. is back in the squad. He will be joined by a good mix of experienced and young set of strikers like Abhishek, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, S Karthi, Gurjant Singh, Sukhjeet Singh, Raj Kumar Pal and Mandeep Singh.
In their previous outing in the prestigious League matches at home, India remained unbeaten against reigning World Champions Germany and Australia which helped them top the points table.
In Europe, they will hope to continue their winning momentum as they take on the formidable Belgium and Great Britain in London followed by matches against the Netherlands and Argentina in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
Speaking about the team selection, Chief Coach Craig Fulton said, “I am pleased with the team we have selected for the upcoming Pro League tournament against Belgium, Holland, Great Britain and Argentina. Our current world ranking of 4th reflects the team's hard work and dedication post the World Cup. This tournament will be a great opportunity for us to compete against top-ranked teams and further improve our overall game.
"We are looking forward to the challenge and hope to have a strong finish to the pro league tournament.”
Goalkeepers: Krishan Bahadur Pathak, PR Sreejesh
Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh (C),Amit Rohidas, Jarmanpreet Singh, Manpreet Singh, Sumit, Sanjay, Mandeep Mor, Gurinder Singh
Midfielders: Hardik Singh (VC) Dilpreet Singh, Moirangthem Rabichandra Singh, Shamsher Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad
Forwards: Abhishek, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, S Karthi, Gurjant Singh, Sukhjeet Singh, Raj Kumar Pal, Mandeep Singh, Simranjeet Singh
26th May; India Vs Belgium , 27th May : India vs Great Britain .
2nd June : Vs Belgium , 3rd June :, Vs Great Britain .
7th June , Vs Netherlands. ,8th; Vs Argentina .
10th June; Vs Netherlands ,11th June; Vs Argentina .