Augmented Indian hockey squad selected for Japan series

The Indian team is looking confident ahead of their test series against Japan

New Delhi, April 30 (IANS)

Unlike previous years, Hockey India (HI) on Thursday selected a 24-member squad that will be taking on Japan in a bilateral series to be played in Bhubaneswar from May 3 to 9.

The squad is seeing the addition of six more players than the last selected team for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, played in Malaysia last month.

Defenders Jasjit Singh, Gurmail Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, midfielder Pardeep Mor and forwards Yuvraj Walmiki, Lalit Upadhyay have been added to the squad. Harmanpreet could also be making his international debut for the team.

The preparatory camp for the series, which commenced on April 22 at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here, got over on Thursday and the team will leave for the Odisha capital on Friday.

The series is preparatory series for the World League Semi-Final to be played in June. Following their third place finish last month, the team will look for an improved performance this time around.

"The team looks confident ahead of the upcoming tournament. They are on a high post their third place finish at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and the team will aim for a series win," head coach Paul van Ass said.

"The team has worked on various aspects including starting the game with speed and putting the initial pressure and to keep the attack going in the final minutes of the game."

The squad:

Goalkeepers: P.R. Sreejesh, Harjot Singh

Defenders: Gurbaj Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh, V.R. Raghunath, Jasjit Singh, Gurmail Singh, Harmanpreet Singh

Midfielders: Manpreet Singh, Dharamvir Singh, Sardar Singh, S.K. Uthappa, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Pardeep Mor

Forwards: S.V. Sunil, Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Satbir Singh, Lalit Upadhay, Yuvraj Walmiki.

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Edited by Staff Editor