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Manpreet Singh to lead India in World Hockey League Semifinal

19 May 2017, 13:12 IST
The Indian hockey team will travel to Germany first for a three-nation tournament

What’s the story?

Young midfield stalwart Manpreet Singh was announced as the captain of the Indian hockey team for the three-nation invitational tournament in Germany followed by the World Hockey League semi-finals in England. He replaces regular captain and custodian PR Sreejesh, who sustained a knee injury in Malaysia and was subsequently ruled out for the summer.

Head coach Roelant Oltmans said, “Quite a number of boys who played in Malaysia did a good job, and now some other players will get the opportunity to play in this tournament. I always like to have a certain core to make sure players get the chance to play in a team with a strong base. The Hockey World League semi-final is a prestigious tournament. But we will set a clear target to finish in the top three. It is up to us to perform according to the qualities India have at the moment.”

"The idea was to bring in a couple of changes in positions after Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. Like I had said before, there are three tours this year including Azlan Shah Cup where we would like to give opportunities to younger players. Though we are taking a few players who are not that experienced, we still want to do well and the aim is to finish in Top 2 at the Men's Hockey World League Semi Final and I look forward to seeing how the boys will perform against big teams,” said Oltmans.

The context

Coming on the back of their bronze medal performance at the just concluded Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia, India’s hockey stars brace themselves to put their feet down and focus on the challenges that lie ahead. The 18-man squad for the forthcoming leg of the season was chosen by coach Roelant Oltmans at Sports Authority of India’s Southern Centre in Bengaluru on Thursday.

The heart of the matter

Manpreet will lead the side out against Germany and Belgium in the 3 Nations Invitational tournament before heading to London where India are clubbed with Canada, Netherlands, Pakistan and Scotland.

What’s next?

Goalkeepers Akash Chikte and Vikas Dahiya will deputise for Sreejesh, who sustained his injury while playing against Australia at the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Tournament. Midfielders Satbir Singh and S.K. Uthappa are back in the squad after being rested while Ramandeep Singh is back to add firepower upfront.

The squad

Goalkeepers: Akash Chikte, Vikas Dahiya

Defenders: Pardeep Mor, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Rupinderpal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh

Midfielders: Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (Vice Capt), S.K. Uthappa, Satbir Singh, Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh (Captain), Harjeet Singh

Forwards: Ramandeep Singh, S.V. Sunil, Talwinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh

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