2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers: Why Sunil Chhetri has not been named in the Indian squad
Indian Men's National Team Head Coach Stephen Constantine has announced the probables for the AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifier tie against Kyrgyzstan, which is scheduled to take place on 27th March 2018 in the country that is popularly known as the 'Alps of Central Asia'.
Several regulars other players who have played well in the ISL this season, like Brandon Fernandes, Lenny Rodrigues, and Rahul Bheke have also not been included in the squad. However, what has been the most surprising thing for the fans, is the exclusion of India's highest scorer and talismanic captain Sunil Chhetri.
According to AFC regulations, "A player who receives two cautions (yellow cards) in the competition shall automatically be suspended from the match following the match in which he received the second caution."
As, Sunil Chhetri was booked twice in the five matches he has played for India in the qualifying stage so far, he had to be excluded from the squad. Chhetri was booked at the 68th minute against Myanmar in a 0-1 away win. The India captain was again booked in the return fixture against Myanmar in Goa at the 90th minute which resulted in a 2-2 draw.
It would be interesting to see how the Indian team copes up with the sturdy and resilient defence of the 115th ranked side in relatively colder conditions. In fact, it was Chhetri himself, who had given India the 1-0 win against the Kyrgyz Republic in the first leg of the fixture.
On the flip side, youngsters like Hitesh Sharma have been called up to the probables list, alongside experienced campaigners like Balwant Singh and Jeje Lalpekhlua.
The list of probables is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Vishal Kaith, Amrinder Singh, Rehenesh T.P.
Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Nishu Kumar, Lalruatthara, Anas Edathodika, Sandesh Jhingan, Salam Ranjan Singh, Sarthak Golui, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Narayan Das, Subhasish Bose.
Midfielders: Jackichand Singh, Udanta Singh, Seityasen Singh, Dhanapal Ghanesh, Anirudh Thapa, Germanpreet Singh, Rowllin Borges, Md. Rafique, Cavin Lobo, Bikash Jairu, Halicharan Narzary.
Forwards: Hitesh Sharma, Balwant Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Seminlen Doungel, Alen Deory, Manvir Singh, Sumeet Passi.