Sardar Singh to lead depleted squad at Asia Cup in Ipoh
Sardar Singh will lead a young Indian side, depleted due to injuries, in the 9th Asia Cup Hockey tournament to be held at Ipoh, Malaysia from Aug 24 to Sep 1, Hockey India (HI) announced yesterday.
Four key strikers — Danish Mujtaba, SV Sunil, Gurwinder Singh Chandi and Akashdeep Singh — have been ruled out due to injuries. The new-look forward line comprises Nithin Thimmaiah, Mandeep Singh, Malak Singh and green horns Ramandeep Singh and Nikin Thimmaiah.
The other new face in the team is defender Amit Rohidas while mid-fielder SK Uthappa is making a comeback. Hockey India selectors BP Govinda, RP Singh and Arjun Halappa, director high performance and interim chief coach Roelant Oltmans, coach MK Kaushik and scientific advisor Jason Konrath, along with government observer Harbinder Singh, selected the 18-member squad after trials at Bangalore's Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre July 25-27. India are in Pool B with South Korea, Bangladesh and Oman while Pakistan, Malaysia, Japan and Chinese-Taipei are placed in Pool A. India will open their campaign against Oman Aug 24.
Squad: Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh (vice-captain), PT Rao; Defenders: VR Raghunath, Rupinder Pal Singh, Amit Rohidas, Kothajit Singh, Birendra Lakra, Gurmail Singh; Midfielders: Sardar Singh (captain), Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Dharamvir Singh, SK Uthappa; Forwards: Ramandeep Singh, Nithin Thimmaiah, Mandeep Singh, Malak Singh, Nikin Thimmaiah.