Hockey India today announced the 18-member India’s men hockey team for the upcoming Commonwealth Games set to take place in Gold Coast, Australia from 4th to 15th April 2018.
The team will be led by mid-fielder Manpreet Singh while the responsibilities of vice-captain would be on the shoulder of Chinglensana Singh Kangujam.
Under the leadership of Manpreet, India managed to win the Asia Cup 2017, followed by a bronze medal feat at the Men’s Hockey World League Final in Bhubaneswar, last year. Now, the team will look to continue their golden form in Gold Coast XXI Commonwealth Games.
The Blue Tigers are well placed in Pool B along with Pakistan, Malaysia, Wales, England and will take the field for the first time on April 7th against arch-rivals Pakistan.
Former Indian captain, Goal-keeper P. Sreejesh makes a comeback in the team after suffering a medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury during the Azlan Shah tournament in 2017. His experience will play a crucial role for the team in CWG.
However, veteran Sardar Singh failed to make the cut and is dropped from the Indian squad after his below par performance in this year’s Azlan Shah tournament. Ramandeep Singh also get dropped, despite his decent performance in the same tournament.
Drag-flick expert Rupinder Pal Singh will look after the India’s defense along with Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh, Gurinder Singh and Amit Rohidas while the goal-post would be guarded by P. Sreejesh.
Indian captain Manpreet Singh will manage the midfield and will be supported by experience of Chinglensana along with young blood in Sumit and Vivek Sagar Prasad.
SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh and Dilpreet Singh would be the attacking options for Indian team.
According to the Indian coach, the team has been selected on the tournaments played since the Asia Cup 2017.
“This team has been picked keeping in mind the team’s performance in the previous tournaments since the Asia Cup 2017. We have tried out different combinations in the past events and we believe this will be the most effective combination for the Gold Coast 2018 XXI Commonwealth Games,” asserted Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne.
In the previous two editions of Commonwealth Games (2010 & 2014), Indian managed to win silver medals on both occasions, coming second to Australia. However, this time captain Manpreet Singh is confident that the team will turn the tables and give tough fight to World-Champion Australia.
Indian Hockey Squad for CWG 2018:
1. Sreejesh Parattu Raveendran
2. Suraj Karkera
3. Rupinder Pal Singh
4. Harmanpreet Singh
5. Varun Kumar
6. Kothajit Singh Kadangbam
7. Gurinder Singh
8. Amit Rohidas
9. Manpreet Singh(C)
10. Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (VC)
12. Vivek Sagar Prasad
13. Akashdeep Singh
14. Sunil Sowmarpet Vitalacharya