Hockey India on Tuesday named the veteran midfielder to lead the 18-member squad in the prestigious 27th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, beginning March 3 in Ipoh, Malaysia. Meanwhile, forward Ramandeep Singh will serve as Sardar Singh's deputy. The tournament will see world number one Australia, world number two Argentina, England, India, Ireland and hosts Malaysia in an exciting contest that ends on March 10. The Indian team will also feature three debut players in Mandeep Mor, Sumit Kumar and Shilanand Lakra. Ending the uncertainty behind Sardar Singh's inclusion in the Indian men's hockey team.
"Just like the New Zealand Tour where four players made their International debut, the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is a great opportunity for these new players to get international exposure against top teams," stated Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne, who was behind India's success at the Men's Asia Cup in 2017 and the Bronze Medal feat at the Odisha Men's Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017. While Sumit Kumar (Junior) is part of the ongoing Senior Men National Camp, Mandeep Mor and Shilanand Lakra have been called-up from the Junior Men's Core Group.
The full squad is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Suraj Karkera, Krishan B Pathak
Defenders: Amit Rohidas, Dipsan Tirkey, Varun Kumar, Surender Kumar, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Mandeep Mor
Midfielders:S.K. Uthappa, Sardar Singh (Captain), Sumit, Nilakanta Sharma, Simranjeet Singh
Forwards: Gurjant Singh, Ramandeep Singh (Vice-captain), Talwinder Singh, Sumit Kumar (Junior), Shilanand Lakra