New Delhi: Hockey India today named the 20-member Indian Men’s Hockey Team who will take part in the 2018 Four Nations Invitational Tournament in New Zealand starting 17 January 2018. India will compete with Belgium, Japan and hosts New Zealand at Tauranga and Hamilton.
The team will be led by 25-year-old midfielder Manpreet Singh while Chinglensana Singh Kangujam will shoulder the responsibility of Vice Captain.
Making a strong comeback after nearly eight months of injury layoff is goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, who missed some of the key tournaments in 2017 due to knee injury. Sreejesh will be joined by young goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak a Member of the 2016 Junior World Cup winning team and who was also part of the India ‘A’ team that participated at the Australian Hockey League in September 2017.
New inclusions in the team are forward Dilpreet Singh and midfielder Vivek Sagar Prasad. The duo was rewarded for their promising performance at the 7th Sultan of Johor Cup last year where the team returned home with the Bronze medal. While Vivek had led the team with great determination and played an instrumental role in the midfield, Dilpreet was India’s goal-getter with nine goals in six matches to his credit.
India’s defence features Rupinder Pal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar – all three will double-up as dragflickers. They will be joined by Birendra Lakra, Surender Kumar and Gurinder Singh in the defense-line.
The midfield will see skipper Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Harjeet Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Satbir Singh along with debut players Simranjeet Singh and Vivek Sagar Prasad. India’s attack will see Ramandeep Singh return to the team with young gun Armaan Qureshi, Dilpreet Singh, Mandeep Singh and Lalit Upadhyay.
“The team continues to remain a good mix of young and experienced players. They will get to show their abilities against top quality teams. This is an important year for us with major tournaments in the pipeline and one of our focus areas is to perform consistently especially against higher ranked teams,” expressed Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne further adding that this tour will be a good exposure ahead of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018. “We use this tour for our preparation for the Commonwealth Games and look at progressing to the next level after the previous two tournaments,” he added.
Meanwhile Hockey India’s High Performance Director David John said, “This tour provides international exposure for some of our younger players in the squad with four of them making their international debut with the senior team. We also view this tournament as another opportunity to assess senior players performance under competition.”
All games will be streamed live on the Vantage Black Sticks Facebook page (facebook.com/nzblacksticks).
Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak
Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Surender Kumar, Gurinder Singh, Varun Kumar, Rupinderpal Singh, Birendra Lakra
Midfielders: Manpreet Singh(C), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (VC), Vivek Sagar Prasad, Harjeet Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Simranjeet Singh, Satbir Singh
Forwards: Dilpreet Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Armaan Qureshi