Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: Birendra Lakra and Amit Rohidas from Odisha have been selected in the 18-member Indian squad for the upcoming Men's Hockey Champions Trophy 2018 to be played in Breda, the Netherlands from June 23.
The team will be led by ace goalkeeper PR Sreejesh under whose captaincy the Indian team created history in the previous edition of the tournament by clinching silver after a tense final against World's No.1 team Australia in London. It was India’s first podium finish at the Champions Trophy in 34 years.
I think that was the closest we came to winning the Gold and most importantly beating Australia. Though we had to settle for a second place, it was a memorable tournament. This time too, we want to make it a memorable one as it’s the last edition of the prestigious event.
---- PR Sreejesh.
Sreejesh will be joined by youngster Krishan Pathak as reserve goalkeeper. India’s defence will see experienced Birendra Lakra making a comeback into the squad while drag-flickers Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar and Amit Rohidas will be the other defenders to watch out for along with young Surender Kumar and debutant Jarmanpreet Singh, who earned a place after a good domestic season.
Veteran player and former captain Sardar Singh along with stalwarts Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh and talented Vivek Sagar Prasad will form the mid-field. The forward line will feature SV Sunil, Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh and Sumit Kumar (Jr).
“The team has a good mix of youth and experienced players. Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy Breda 2018 is an extremely important tournament for the players to showcase their potential as the team for the forthcoming Asian Games in Jakarta will be picked on the basis of performance at this tournament and the XXI Commonwealth Games,” said Chief Coach, Harendra Singh.
"This tournament will provide the ideal platform to see where we stand against higher ranked teams like Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands and Argentina in the lead up to the Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018,” Singh added.
Congratulations to Odisha players Birendra Lakra and Amit Rohidas on making it to #TeamIndia for Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy 2018 at Breda, Netherlands. Wish our National team all the best for #HCT2018. Bring the cup home & add momentum to #HWC2018 in Bhubaneswar.
— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) May 31, 2018
India will begin its campaign at the Champions Trophy against arch-rivals Pakistan on June 23.
Sreejesh Parattu Raveendran (C) and Krishan Bahadur Pathak
Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Surender Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra and Amit Rohidas
Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (VC), Sardar Singh and Vivek Sagar Prasad
Sunil Sowmarpet Vitalacharya, Ramandeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Sumit Kumar (Jr.), Akashdeep Singh and Dilpreet Singh