2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Injured Rahul Bheke to miss India vs Bangladesh tie
Indian football team right-back Rahul Bheke will miss the upcoming tie in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Bangladesh owing to an injury, which is to be held at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on October 15. The team announced the same on their social media handles and wished him a speedy recovery.
Rahul Bheke made his debut for India in the King's Cup in their defeat to Curacao. Since then, he has been a regular figure in the right-back position and featured in both the World Cup Qualifiers matches for India, in their 1-2 loss to Oman and 0-0 draw against Qatar. The pre-season camp will begin in Guwahati from Thursday.
Pritam Kotal is expected to step up in the absence of Bengaluru FC full-back. Bheke's injury only aggravates head coach Igor Stimac's injury issues. Former India U-17 captain Amarjit Singh Kiyam fractured his hand while training whereas Jeje Lalpekhlua is still rehabilitating from his knee injury which he suffered in the previous season.
Although Bangladesh is ranked below than India in FIFA rankings, the Blue Tigers cannot be complacent as the former has already begun their preparations for the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. On Sunday, they defeated Bhutan 4-1 in a friendly match and will lock horns with them again on Thursday.
Here is the updated 28-member squad which will be trimmed further by the end of the week.
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Bengaluru FC), Amrinder Singh (Mumbai City FC), Kamaljit Singh (Hyderabad FC)
Defender: Pritam Kotal (ATK), Nishu Kumar (Bengaluru FC), Sandesh Jhingan (Kerala Blasters), Adil Khan (Hyderabad FC), Narender (Jamshedpur FC), Sarthak Golui (Hyderabad FC), Anas Edathodika (ATK), Anwar Ali (Jr.) (Mumbai City FC), Mandar Rao Desai (FC Goa), Subhasish Bose (Mumbai City FC), Jerry Lalrinzuala (Chennaiyin FC)
Midfielders: Udanta Singh (Bengaluru FC), Nikhil Poojary (Hyderabad FC), Vinit Rai (Odisha FC), Anirudh Thapa (Chennaiyin FC), Sahal Abdul Samad (Kerala Blasters), Raynier Fernandes (Mumbai City FC), Brandon Fernandes (FC Goa), Halicharan Narzary (Kerala Blasters), Lallianzuala Chhangte (Chennaiyin FC), Ashique Kuruniyan (Bengaluru FC)
Forwards: Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC), Balwant Singh (ATK), Manvir Singh (FC Goa), Farukh Choudhary (Jamshedpur FC)