Striker Jeje Lalpekhlua and Sandesh Jhinghan made a return to the national fold after their injury lay-offs as Indian football team coach Igor Stimac on Thursday named a 43-man squad for India’s upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifier at home against Qatar which is set to take place on March 29.
Lalengmawia, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Jeakson Singh, Liston Colaco, Pratik Chowdhary, Shubham Sarangi, Rafique Ali Sardar, Prabhsukhan Gill, Sumit Rathi, Seriton Fernandes, Edwin Sydney Vanspaul are among the ones who have been handed their first call-up to the senior team.
However, the 20 players from FC Goa, ATK, Bengaluru FC and Chennaiyin FC who will be competing in the ISL semi-finals and final will join the group on March 16, two days after the final.
“Time is very crucial for us. We have planned to utilise the maximum time possible, so we want to see as many players as possible before the Qatar match,” Stimac said.
“As some players won’t be able to join the camp because of their club commitments before the 16th, we’ll use this time to assess other players. Sandesh (Jhingan) and Jeje (Lalpekhlua) have been longstanding servers of Indian national team and I strongly believe in their abilities. I have been updated about their current medical status and we’ll monitor them closely in Bhubaneswar too,” he added.
There is no place for any player from the I-League. Coach Stimac was present at a few I-League matches last month but none of the players from the competition have made the cut in his probables.
Goalkeepers: Amrinder Singh, Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, Rafique Ali Sardar, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Vishal Kaith, Prabhsukhan Gill.
Defenders: Pratik Prabhakar Chowdhary, Shubham Sarangi, Subhasish Bose, Narender, Adil Khan, Sandesh Jhingan, Prabir Das, Rahul Bheke, Pritam Kotal, Nishu Kumar, Sumit Rathi, Seriton Fernandes, Mandar Rao Dessai.
Midfielders: Rowllin Borges, Amarjit Singh, Jeakson Singh, Nandhakumar Sekar, Lalengmawia, Vinit Rai, Raynier Fernandes, Nikhil Poojary, Mawihmingthanga, Halicharan Narzary, Sahal Abdul Samad, Edwin Sydney Vanspaul, Brandon Fernandes, Anirudh Thapa, Udanta Singh, Ashique Kuruniyan, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Jackichand Singh, Micheal Soosairaj.
Forwards: Farukh Choudhary, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Liston Colaco, Sunil Chhetri, Manvir Singh.