VR Raghunath replaces injured PR Sreejesh as captain of Indian hockey team for four-nation tournament in Australia
In the absence goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, VR Raghunath will captain the Indian hockey team in the four-nation tournament in Australia.The ace custodian, Sreejesh who is recovering from a knee injury was unsure of his presence for the upcoming tour. India on Friday named an 18-men squad for the Australia tour commencing on November 23.
Raghunath returns to the squad after being side lined for the Asian Champions Trophy. Alongside him, the experienced drag-flicker Rupinder Singh Pal, who was the highest scorer for India in the Asian Champions Trophy will be in the role of the vice-captain for the tour down under. Akash Chilke, who did some phenomenal work in the Asian Champions Trophy final against Pakistan to help India outplay the arch rivals, would be replacing Sreejesh and will be in between the sticks for India in the series.
Abhinav Kumar Pandey has also been included in the squad as a second goalkeeper. SV Sunil and Ramandeep Singh are also going to miss out due to injuries. Sunil is yet to come over from the wrist injury he sustained at the Rio Olympics while Ramandeep has been left out due to some health issues. Ace forward Akashdeep Singh and midfielder Manpreet Singh have been included in the squad after being rested in the Asian Champions Trophy.
India will look forward to retaining the momentum they gathered from the Champions trophy performance and present a tough competition to the opponents Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand. The squad is young and passionate and the management is precisely focused on bringing out the best in the youth and build for future. Satbir Singh and Mohammad Amir Khan are the new faces included in the 18 men squad to solidify the attack.
With a three-match test series against the host Australia right after the four-nation series , India is looking to stabilise the team to bring out the best possible results.
Goalkeepers: Akash Chikte, Abhinav Kumar Pandey
Defenders: Rupinder Pal Singh (vice-captain), Pardeep Mor, V R Raghunath (captain), Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar
Midfielders: Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Manpreet Singh, Sardar Singh, S K Uthappa
Forwards: Talwinder Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Affan Yousuf, Mohammad Amir Khan, Satbir Singh, Akashdeep Singh