Manpreet, Sreejesh rested as Reid names squad for Oly test event

New Delhi: India head coach Graham Reid decided to rest seniors Manpreet Singh, P.R. Sreejesh and Surender Kumar as he named an 18-member squad for the Olympic Test Event which is set to be played between 17-21 August in Japan.

“We are resting some senior players including Manpreet Singh as some of them have had a very rigorous last 12 months of hockey and will give them a chance to shake off any niggling injuries and get fresh for the next three months of preparation for the November qualifying matches,” Reid said.

In the absence of the senior players, Harmanpreet Singh and Mandeep Singh have been named the captain and vice-captain respectively and two players — Ashis Topno and Shamsher Singh earned their debut spots.

Veteran striker S.V. Sunil returned to the fold after a gap of nine months. Reid said he is eager to test his bench strength in the Olympic Test Event.

“With no world ranking points at risk, the Tokyo test event gives us an ideal opportunity to not only get a first-hand look at how Tokyo is shaping up for next year’s Olympics, we will also see some players who have not had a chance to show us what they can do on the international stage,” said Reid.

Squad: Krishan Bahadur Pathak; Gurinder Singh; Harmanpreet Singh (Captain); Kothajit Singh Khadangbam; Hardik Singh; Nilakanta Sharma; Vivek Sagar Prasad; Jaskaran Singh; Mandeep Singh (Vice Captain); Gursahibjit Singh; Nilam Sanjeep Xess; Jarmanpreet Singh; Varun Kumar; Ashis Topno; SV Sunil; Gurjant Singh; Shamsher Singh; Suraj Karkera