India on Monday announced an 18-member strong senior men's hockey team for the Commonwealth Games. Manpreet Singh has returned as the captain of the team while drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh has been made the vice-captain. Hockey India had initially decided to send a second-rate team to the Commonwealth Games due to the short time between the Birmingham Games and Hangzhou Asian Games, a qualifier for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Asian Games postponed
The Asian Games were postponed due to the situation related to Covid-19 in China, after which Hockey India decided to choose a strong team for this prestigious competition starting from 28 July. The Indian team is placed in Pool B along with England, Canada, Wales and Ghana. The two-time silver medalist Indian team will start their campaign against Ghana on July 31.
Team did wonders in Tokyo Olympics
Manpreet led the Indian team when it won the historic bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. He will replace Amit Rohidas who captained India in the FIH Pro League matches against Belgium and the Netherlands. Harmanpreet, who was made the vice-captain, was the highest goal scorer in the FIH Hockey Pro League. Head coach Graham Reid said in the release that we have selected a tested team for the Commonwealth Games. These players have the experience of playing against the top team in high-pressure matches in the FIH Pro League which is a good experience ahead of the prestigious competition to be held in four years.
The responsibility of defense is of Varun Kumar
"After a brief break when we return from the Netherlands, who will restore camp at the SAI center in Bengaluru and assess our performance against Belgium and the Netherlands," he said. Experienced goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and returning from injury Krishna Bahadur Pathak have been included in the team. The responsibility of defense will be on Varun Kumar, Surendra Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Jugraj Singh and Jarmanpreet Singh. Manpreet, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Shamsher Singh, Akashdeep Singh and Neelkant Sharma have got a place in the midfield. Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh and Abhishek have been included in the team as strikers.
the team is like
Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh and Krishna Bahadur Pathak.
Defenders: Varun Kumar, Surendra Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Jugraj Singh and Jarmanpreet Singh.
Midfielders: Manpreet Singh (Captain), Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Shamsher Singh, Akashdeep Singh and Neelkant Sharma.
Forwards: Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh and Abhishek.