Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh will lead India’s title defence at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palmbag. Chinglensana Singh Kangujam has been named his deputy in the 18 member squad, that will also marks the comeback of dragflicker Rupinder Pal Singh and striker Akashdeep Singh.
Hockey India on Monday named the 18-member Indian Men’s Hockey Team for the 18th Asian Games. The Aian Games will be held in the twin Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang on 18 August 2018.
The Defending Champions, who had beaten Pakistan in the Final at the 2014 edition in Incheon Korea, will be Captained by season goalkeeper PR Sreejesh. He was recently awarded the Goalkeeper of the Tournament at the FIH Hockey Men’s Champions Trophy in Breda. India returned home with their second consecutive Silver Medal.
Vice-captain Chinglensana Singh Kangujam will be joined in the midfield by the experienced Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh, Simranjeet Singh and Vivek Sagar Prasad in the midfield.
India’s forwardline will see Akashdeep Singh return to the squad. Experienced SV Sunil, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Dilpreet Singh have been named in the squad. The team’s defence will be strengthened with the return of experienced dragflicker Rupinder Pal Singh who was rested for the Champions Trophy. The backline will also see three other dragflickers Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar and Amit Rohidas apart from the experienced Surender Kumar and Birendra Lakra, state a Press Release from Hockey India.
Speaking about the team composition, Chief Coach Harendra Singh said, “We have a great mix of players who have shown their abilities in the recent tournaments. Though it is unfortunate we will be missing out on Ramandeep Singh’s experience as he is ruled out of the Asian Games due to a recent knee surgery he underwent. But it is good to have Akashdeep Singh back in the mix. Both Rupinder and Akashdeep have remained in camp when the team was away in Breda and have had good match practice against Bangladesh over the past week and are raring to go.”
The 18-members who returned from Breda, the Netherlands have joined the rest of the core group at ongoing National Camp in Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru after a short five-day break. The next three weeks in camp will see a mix of players take on the Korean National Team in five practice matches and the New Zealand national team in three matches ahead of the all-important Asian Games. “While the practice matches against Korea will have a mix of players from the core group, the matches against New Zealand will be played by the 18 members who are selected for the Asian Games. I believe this will be good for the team in their preparation for the Asian Games where we will certainly go for the Gold to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” stated an assertive Harendra Singh.
The team: Goalkeepers – PR Sreejesh (Captain) and Krishan B Pathak; defenders – Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Birendra Lakra, Surender Kumar, Rupinder Pal Singh and Amit Rohidas; Midfielders – Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (Vice-Captain), Simranjeet Singh, Sardar Singh and Vivek Sagar Prasad; and Forwards –
S V Sunil, Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Dilpreet Singh
Matches from the 18th Asian Games will be shown live on Sony Pictures Networks.