Sardar Singh and striker Ramandeep Singh were the notable omissions for Hockey India’s 18-member men’s squad for the Commonwealth Games to be played in Australia. The 31-year-old Sardar, who led India to fifth place finish in the recently concluded Sultan Azlan Shah Trophy, has fallen down in the pecking order as coaches feel he has got slower and doesn’t control the mid-field with same authority as in the past.
Experienced custodian PR Sreejesh and striker SV Sunil also returned to the squad after being given a break for the Azlan Shah trophy while Dilpreet Singh and Vivek Sagar Prasad who made their international debut during the New Zealand tour have been rewarded for their good show.
India has been clubbed with Pakistan, Malaysia, Wales and England in Group B with hockey action scheduled to start from April 7. “This team has been picked keeping in mind the team’s performance in the previous tournaments since the Asia Cup 2017. We have tried out different combinations in the past events and we believe this will be the most effective combination for the Gold Coast 2018 XXI Commonwealth Games,” said Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne.
Squad: Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Suraj Karkera;
Defenders: Rupinder Pal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh, Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas;
Midfielders: Manpreet Singh (C), K Chinglensana Singh (VC), Sumit, Vivek Sagar Prasad;
Forwards: Akashdeep Singh, SV Sunil, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Dilpreet Singh.