Rupinder Pal Singh named captain for Asia Cup
The team have as many 10 players who make their senior debut, including junior World Cup players Yashdeep Siwach, Abhisek Lakra, Manjeet, Vishnukant Singh and Uttam Singh. Defenders include Rupinder, Yashdeep Siwach, Abhisek Lakra, Lakra, Manjeet, Dipsan Tirkey, Vishnukant Singh, Raj Kumar Pal, Mareeswaren Sakthivel, Sheshe Gowda BM, Simranjeet Singh.
Veteran drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh, who recently came out of retirement, will lead India at the Asia Cup as Hockey India on Monday and announced a 20-member team for the upcoming tournament in Jakarta.
India has been grouped with Japan, Pakistan, and hosts Indonesia in pool A, while Malaysia, Korea, Oman, and Bangladesh comprise pool B. The team has as many as 10 players who make their senior debut, including junior World Cup players Yashdeep Siwach, Abhisek Lakra, Manjeet, Vishnukant Singh, and Uttam Singh. Also new on the team will be Mareeswaren Sakthivel, Sheshe Gowda BM, Pawan Rajbhar, Abharan Sudev, and S Karthi. The team features two goalkeepers in Pankaj Kumar Rajak and Suraj Karkera. Defenders include Rupinder, Yashdeep Siwach, Abhisek Lakra, Lakra, Manjeet, Dipsan Tirkey, Vishnukant Singh, Raj Kumar Pal, Mareeswaren Sakthivel, Sheshe Gowda BM, Simranjeet Singh. Forwards Pawan Rajbhar, Abharan Sudev, SV Sunil, Uttam Singh, and S.Karthi have also been named in the squad. Junior World Cup players Maninder Singh and Nilam Sanjeep Xess have been named as replacement players while Pawan, Pardeep Singh, Ankit Pal, and Angad Bir Singh have been named as standbys. Speaking about the team composition, Coach BJ Kariappa said, ''The team is a good mix of experienced senior players and newcomers, many of whom have played at the international level in different age-group matches but have not made their Senior India debut. ''Since India has already qualified for the FIH Men's World Cup under being the hosts, this will be a good platform for us to try out this new group and test how these players utilize the opportunity.'' Coach Sardar said,'' This is a very talented group of players and I have seen them work hard over the past few weeks to earn a place in the team.
''On a personal front, this will be my first tournament as India Coach and I am looking forward to this new experience.''
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