India name 24-member squad for Europe leg

FIH Pro League:

New Delhi, May 15 (PTI) Ace drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh will lead the Indian men’s hockey team in the next leg of the FIH Hockey Pro League in Europe, which will be newly-appointed coach Craig Fulton’s first assignment.
In their previous outing in the prestigious League matches at home, India remained unbeaten against reigning World Champions Germany and Australia which helped them top the points table.
In Europe, they will hope to continue their winning momentum as they take on the formidable Belgium and Great Britain in London followed by matches against the Netherlands and Argentina in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
The 24-member team, announced on Monday, features goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak. He returns to the squad after missing the home matches due to his wedding.
He will be joined by PR Sreejesh under bar while defenders list includes five penalty corner specialists in Harmanpreet, Amit Rohidas, Jarmanpreet Singh, Sanjay and Mandeep Mor.
Manpreet Singh, who was the cynosure of India’s midfield will be seen in a new role, playing in India’s back-line along with Sumit and Gurinder Singh have also been named in the backline.
The midfield will be led by vice-captain Hardik Singh along with Dilpreet Singh, Moirangthem Rabichandra Singh, Shamsher Singh, Akashdeep Singh and Vivek Sagar Prasad.
India’s forward line sees the return of Simranjeet Singh who last played for India at the Asia Cup Jakarta but had to return home midway due to injury issues.
He will be joined by a good mix of experienced and young set of strikers like Abhishek, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, S Karthi, Gurjant Singh, Sukhjeet Singh, Raj Kumar Pal and Mandeep Singh.
“This tournament will be a great opportunity for us to compete against top-ranked teams and further improve our overall game. We are looking forward to the challenge and hope to have a strong finish to the pro league tournament,” Fulton said.

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