Indian Football: Jhingan out, but Bheke passed fit as Igor Stimac names 23-man squad to face Bangladesh
Indian National Football Team head coach Igor Stimac today named a 23-man squad to take on Bangladesh in the FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers Group E clash at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.
It was already known that Sandesh Jhingan would miss the clash after picking up a knee injury in the friendly against NorthEast United FC on Wednesday, but in good news for Stimac, Bengaluru FC right-back Rahul Bheke was passed fit to be in the squad, after it earlier emerged that he could miss this game with an adductor injury.
Sunil Chhetri, who missed the 0-0 draw in Qatar, will make an expected return to the side on Tuesday, and is expected to take the place of Manvir Singh, who himself gave a good account of himself against the Asian champions.
"Halicharan, Farukh and Nishu gave others a tough run for money and the decision was not an easy one. They came very close to their competitors. It was in fact a tough decision to take,” Stimac told the AIFF website.
“Sandesh is our Iron-man. He'll be missed in Kolkata but knowing him, I'm pretty sure, he'll come back much stronger," Stimac stated.
Physio Gigy George said, “Sandesh has suffered on his left knee, an ACL tear and need to undergo surgery. It usually takes 6 months for return to sport. He will be monitored constantly during the rehabilitation phase so that he comes back on the field sooner.”
Stimac was also thrilled to have Bheke available for selection.
"Credit to the Bengaluru FC and Indian National Team medical unit, Rahul (Bheke) is back on his feet. He's a strong contender for starting the match against Bangladesh," the 52-year-old coach commented.
The full 23-man squad:
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Kamaljit Singh.
Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Rahul Bheke, Adil Khan, Narender, Sarthak Golui, Anas Edathodika, Mandar Rao Dessai, Subhasish Bose.
Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Vinit Rai, Anirudh Thapa, Abdul Sahal, Raynier Fernandes, Brandon Fernandes, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Ashique Kuruniyan.
Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Balwant Singh, Manvir Singh.