Midfielder Chinglensama Singh Kangujam and youngster Sumit will return to the India squad after a long injury lay-off after they were named in the 20-member team for the FIH Hockey Pro League 2020 season opener against the Netherlands to be played in Bhubaneshwar on January 18-19.

Chinglensana has not been in competition since the 9th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship 2019 (A Division) in February where he led the Railways team to victory. He suffered an ankle fracture in the final that kept him out of action. Young gun Sumit too will make his comeback after he suffered a wrist injury in June during the FIH Men’s Series Final where India beat South Africa to clinch the title.

The team which will be led by Manpreet Singh and drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh has been named his deputy. Drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad and Nilakanta Sharma too have received a call-up.

Striker Gurjant Singh has been rewarded with a place in the team for his commitment and hard work shown in the National Coaching Camp. He will join SV Sunil, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Gursahibjit Singh and Kothajit Singh Khadangbam in the front line.

“We have chosen a relatively experienced team to take on the Netherlands this weekend in Bhubaneswar. While Varun Kumar will be back in training this week after suffering a nerve injury during the Olympic Qualifiers, he wasn’t able to be considered for selection. We will, however, get a chance to see Chinglensana return to international competition after a full year out and Sumit returns after six month. Both have been training well and are physically fit. Gurjant has also shown great form in training and has earned his spot back in the team,” chief coach Graham Reid was quoted as saying in a Hockey India release.

Reid said it would be important for them to be sharp in the FIH Hockey Pro League as the team will be taking on the world’s best teams, including the Netherlands (18-19 January), Belgium (8-9 February), Australia (21-22 February).

“It will be important to start strong and sharp in the Pro League with our first 3 encounters against the top 3 teams in the world. We will be focussing on getting our structures right and honing our set plays as preparation for our Olympic campaign.”

Indian Team:

  1. P R Sreejesh
  2. Krishan Bahadur Pathak
  3. Harmanpreet Singh (Vice Captain)
  4. Gurinder Singh
  5. Amit Rohidas
  6. Surender Kumar
  7. Birendra Lakra
  8. Rupinder Pal Singh
  9. Manpreet Singh (Captain)
  10. Vivek Sagar Prasad
  11. Chinglensana Singh
  12. Nilakanta Sharma
  13. Sumit
  14. Gurjant Singh
  15. S V Sunil
  16. Lalit Kumar Upadhyay
  17. Mandeep Singh
  18. Akashdeep Singh
  19. Gursahibjit Singh
  20. Kothajit Singh Khadangbam