For what coach Graham Reid termed as the most important stage of the FIH Pro League, Hockey India on Thursday named the 20-member Indian men’s squad who will take on hosts Belgium and Netherlands in the last leg.
As things stand in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021-’22 season, Indian men are the table-toppers. They will play Belgium on 11th and 12th June in Antwerp, Belgium followed by matches against the Netherlands on 18th and 19th June in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
The team will be captained by Amit Rohidas, with Harmanpreet Singh as his deputy, as has been the case in the recent home matches as well.
The 20-member squad includes goalkeepers Suraj Karkera and PR Sreejesh. Karkera replaces Krishan Pathak from the squad that faced Germany in Odisha. Krishan is reported to have picked up an injury, he was originally part of the team but has since been replaced by Karkera.
The defenders selected are Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Jugraj Singh and Jarmanpreet Singh. Gurinder Singh misses out from last time.
Midfield features experienced Manpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Shamsher Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Akashdeep Singh and Nilakanta Sharma.
The forward-line includes Gurjant Singh who is returning to the set-up, while Mandeep Singh, Shilanand Lakra, Sukhjeet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Abhishek retain their place.
Speaking about the team, chief coach Reid said, “This is the most important stage of the FIH Hockey Pro League with matches against the top teams of the world at their home ground. The plan is to carry forward our momentum from the home games in India.”
“During our national camp here in SAI, Bengaluru, we have had the time to introspect on our performance in the league so far and we are focused on putting up an improved performance in Europe. The team continues to remain more or less the same with no major changes. Each one of them have prior experience of playing the Pro League and are upbeat to get on with the matches against Belgium and Netherlands,”
1. Suraj Karkera
2. Sreejesh PR
3. Surender Kumar
4. Harmanpreet Singh (Vice Captain)
5. Varun Kumar
6. Amit Rohidas (Captain)
7. Jugraj Singh
8. Jarmanpreet Singh
9. Manpreet Singh
10. Hardik Singh
11. Shamsher Singh
12.Vivek Sagar Prasad
13. Akashdeep Singh
14. Nilakanta Sharma
15. Gurjant Singh
16. Mandeep Singh
17. Shilanand Lakra
18. Sukhjeet Singh
19. Lalit Kumar Upadhyay
The matches will be live on Star Sports Network and on Disney + Hotstar