New Delhi, Pretr. Retired veteran drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh will lead the Indian men’s hockey team in the Asia Cup to be held in Jakarta from May 23 to June 1.
Senior players like Manpreet Singh, Harmanpreet Singh and PR Sreejesh will not play in this tournament. India have selected their second-tier squad for the tournament, with Birender Lakra as the vice-captain along with Rupinder. Both Rupinder and Lakra announced their retirement after the Tokyo Olympic Games last year but later made themselves available for selection. Asia Cup is a qualifier tournament of the World Cup. But being the host, India has got automatic entry in this tournament to be held in January next year. The top three teams from the Asia Cup will qualify for the World Cup.
Two-time Olympian Sardar Singh has been made the coach of the team. This will be the former captain’s first tournament as a coach. In the Asia Cup, India are placed in Pool A along with Japan, Pakistan and hosts Indonesia, while Malaysia, Korea, Oman and Bangladesh are in Pool B.
Team: Goalkeepers: Pankaj Kumar Rajak, Suraj Karkera
Defenders: Rupinder Pal Singh (Captain), Yashdeep Siwach, Abhishek Lakra, Birender Lakra (Vice-Captain), Manjeet, Deepson Tirkey, Vishnukant Singh, Rajkumar Pal, Mariswaren Sakthivel, Shesh Gowda BM and Simranjit Singh
Midfielders: Vishnukant Singh, Raj Kumar Pal, Mariswaren S, Seshe Gowda BM, Simranjit Singh
Forwards: Pawan Rajbhar, Abharan Sudev, S V Sunil, Uttam Singh, S Karti
Standbys: Pawan, Pardeep Singh, Ankit Pal and Angad Bir Singh.
Credit: www.jagran.com /