Vivek Sagar Prasad, who was a part of the bronze medal winning Indian team at the Tokyo Olympics, will lead the Indian junior men's hockey team at the upcoming Hockey Men's Junior World Cup.
Vivek Sagar Prasad's deputy will be defender Sanjay, who was part of the U-18 hockey team which won a silver medal at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires.
Hockey India on Thursday named an 18-member Indian junior hoey squad for the Hockey Men's Junior World Cup. India are the defending champions. The tournament will commence on November 24 and will feature 16 teams fighting for the coveted title.
India begin their campaign on November 24 against France. They will take on Canada on November 25, followed by a match against Poland on November 27.
The knockout matches will take place between December 1 and December 5. Other teams in fray include Belgium, the Netherlands, Argentina, Germany, Canada, South Africa, Egypt, Pakistan, Korea, Malaysia, Poland, France, Chile, Spain and the USA.
Indian junior hockey team for World Cup
Vivek Sagar Prasad and Sanjay will have the services of Shardanand Tiwari, Prashant Chauhan, Sudeep Chirmako, Rahul Kumar Rajbhar, Maninder Singh, Pawan, Vishnukant Singh, Ankit Pal, Uttam Singh, Sunil Jojo, Manjeet, Rabichandra Singh Moirangthem, Abhishek Lakra, Yashdeep Siwach, Gurmukh Singh and Araijeet Singh Hundal.
Dinachandra Singh Moirangthem and Boby Singh Dhami have been chosen as alternate players. They will only be allowed to play if there is an injury or if a member of the 18-member squad is ruled out of the tournament due to COVID-19.
Speaking about the team selection, chief coach Graham Reid told Hockey India:
"To choose the best 18 players to represent their country is one of the hardest things to do in sport. Each of these guys have put their everything into trying to make this team for the last 12-18 months. Through COVID, through sanctions and lockdowns, huge sacrifices have been made. We have chosen a group of 20 players, a team of 18 and two alternate players who we believe give us the best chance of defending our title as Junior World Cup Champions. It is a well-balanced side with a lot of flexibility and flare. The key to these guys performing on the big stage will be to trust in each other and trust in their preparation."
Reid further spoke of the team's ongoing preparations in Bhubaneswar, where they are putting in the hard yards needed to succeed in the tournament.
"The players are thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to train for the last few days at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium, which has become an icon in our sport. Even though the ground will be empty, the Olympics has proven that the spectacle of hockey can still be enjoyed by everyone involved."