Hockey India on Tuesday named the Indian team for the FIH Hockey men’s Junior World Cup 2023, set to take place from December 5 to December 16 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
India have been drawn in Pool C alongside Canada, South Korea and Spain. Their journey commences on December 5 with a clash against South Korea, followed by Spain and Canada on December 7 and 9 respectively.
The Indian team will be led by Uttam Singh with Araijeet Singh Hundal being the vice captain.
The squad encompasses a talented array of players, including goalkeepers Mohith HS and Ranvijay Singh Yadav. Defenders include Shardanand Tiwari, Amandeep Lakra, Rohit, Sunil JoJo, and Amir Ali while the midfield will be marshalled by Vishnukant Singh, Poovanna CB, Rajinder Singh, Amandeep and Aditya Singh.
The forward line will be led by captain Uttam Singh, Aditya Lalage, Hundal, Sourabh Anand Kushwaha, Sudeep Chirmako and Boby Singh Dhami. Additionally, defender Sukhvinder and midfielder Sunit Lakra have been named as replacement players for this prestigious event.
Speaking about the team selection, Indian men’s junior team coach CR Kumar, said, “As reigning Asian champions, the prospect of showcasing our skills on the global stage fills us with immense excitement. Our track record in previous junior men’s tournaments, yielding positive results, has instilled confidence in our abilities to compete at a higher level.”
“This time, we present a well-rounded, formidable squad, marking a significant shift in our approach towards the Junior World Cup. Moreover, we draw inspiration from the legacy created by the 2016 Junior World Cup-winning team and aspire to meet the expectations it has set. To aid us in this endeavour, we are fortunate to have a bunch of seasoned players, who were part of the last Junior World Cup in Bhubaneswar. They will shoulder leadership roles and mentor their teammates. Our ultimate priority is to clinch victory in the Junior World Cup, and we are committed to taking measured steps toward achieving this goal,” he added.
In the tournament’s other pools, Pool A boasts defending champions Argentina, along with Australia, Chile and host nation Malaysia. Pool B includes Egypt, France, Germany and South Africa. Pool D sets the stage for fierce competition with Belgium, Netherlands, New Zealand and Pakistan vying for a quarter-finals berth.
The quarter-finals are slated for December 12, followed by the semi-finals on December 14, with the final taking place on December 16.
In the prior edition of the tournament, India narrowly missed securing the bronze medal, finishing fourth and this time they will aim to go all the way.
Indian squad for 2023 Junior Men’s Hockey World Cup
Goalkeepers: Mohith HS, Ranvijay Singh Yadav
Defenders: Shardanand Tiwari, Amandeep Lakra, Rohit, Sunil JoJo, Amir Ali
Midfielders: Vishnukant Singh, Poovanna CB, Rajinder Singh, Amandeep, Aditya Singh
Forwards: Uttam Singh (C), Aditya Lalage, Araijeet Singh Hundal (VC), Sourabh Anand Kushwaha, Sudeep Chirmako, Boby Singh Dhami
Replacement players: Sukhvinder, Sunit Lakra