New Delhi, July 8: Ace defender Harmanpreet Singh will lead the 24-member Indian Team for the 100th Anniversary Spanish Hockey Federation - International Tournament to be held in Terrasa, Spain from 25th to 30th July. Prolific midfielder Hardik Singh has been named vice-captain.
India will play against England, Netherlands, and Spain in the four-nation tournament which will serve as the preparatory event ahead of the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai to be followed by the crucial Hangzhou Asian Games.
The goalkeeping department will be looked after by tried and tested duo of veteran P R Sreejesh and Krishan Bahadur Pathak, while the defenders’ list includes Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Jarmanpreet Singh, Manpreet Singh, and Sanjay.
Defenders Varun Kumar and Nilam Sanjeep Xess, who missed the FIH Pro League matches in Belgium, have been named in the team.
Midfield will be controlled by Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Shamsher Singh, Raj Kumar Pal. Moreover, Sumit and Nilakanta Sharma are back in the squad after missing the FIH Pro League matches in Belgium.
The forward line comprises of Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Sukhjeet Singh, Abhishek, Pawan, Dilpreet Singh, Simranjeet Singh, and Karthi Selvam.
These forwards possess the ability to score crucial goals, create scoring opportunities, and apply relentless pressure on the opponents' defense.
Speaking on the team selection, Chief Coach Craig Fulton said, “We have carefully chosen a balanced squad that brings together experience and youthful energy. Our aim is to create a cohesive unit that can compete at the highest level.”
"The four-nation tournament in Spain will provide us with the perfect platform to fine-tune our strategies and test our skills against top-quality opposition. It will help us identify areas that need improvement, thus playing a vital role in our preparations for the Asian Champions Trophy and the Asian Games. We are confident that this exposure will enhance our performance and help us gear up for the challenges that lie ahead,” he added.