Hockey World Cup 2018: Can India’s young brigade turn things around this time?

Bhubaneswar: The stage is all set for the historic fight among the teams across the globe to win the 14th Men’s Hockey World Cup title. While Hockey fever has already gripped people, it is the third time that India is hosting the event.

The eight time Olympic champion India had participated in all the 13 editions of the world cup which started in 1971 and its best performance came in the 3rd edition in which it had clinched the title.

The Indian team under the guidance of coach Harendra Singh will be aiming to grab the title for the second time in the history. The team would be led by young skipper Manpreet Singh. Chinglensana Singh will be his deputy in the team.

The 18-member squad announced by Hockey India for the mega event consists of seven players who were a part of the Junior World Cup-winning side that was held a couple of years ago in Lucknow.

While experienced PR Sreejesh will be seen regaining his charisma under the bar, young Vivek Sagar Prasad is the second goalkeeper in the team. The Indian defence comprises Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh, Surendra Kumar and Harmanpreet Singh as the penalty corner specialist.

The defence also consists of local lads Birendra Lakra and Amit Rohidas who are expected to display their best on their home turf.

The midfield consists of skipper Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh and youg players like Hardik Singh, Nilkanta Sharma and Sumit Kumar. Forward line comprises Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, Dilpreet Singh and Simranjit Singh.

The Indian team will miss the services of experienced forward SV Sunil and defender Rupinder Pal Singh who are nursing injuries at the moment and are out of the World Cup squad.

India is placed alongside Belgium, South Africa and Canada in Pool C and will start its campaign on November 28 against South Africa.

Indian Hockey Squad:

Manpreet Singh, Chinglesana singh, PR Sreejesh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Kothajit singh, Amit Rohidas, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Birendra Lakra, Hardik singh, Sumit Kumar, Nilkanta Sharma, Lalit kumar, Akashdeep singh, , Mandeep singh, Dilpreet Singh, Simranjeet Singh