The Indian Hockey team has announced their squad for the 2023 FIH Men’s Hockey World cup scheduled to be held at Bhuvaneshwar from January. Team India announced the 18-man squad yesterday (Friday) as the Blues hope to get their hands on the coveted Hockey trophy only for the second time in their history.
The 33-man tentative squad had hit the training ground 2 weeks ago and the internal board has come up with 18 names that will begin their World cup campaign on 13th of January. Bhuvaneshwar is hosting the World cup for the second time in a row since the 2018 edition where Belgium went on to become the World champions for the first time.
The Indian team, along with England, Spain, and Wales, will begin their campaign on January 13, 2023, at the newly constructed Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela.#HockeyIndia #IndiaKaGame @CMO_Odisha @sports_odisha @IndiaSports @Media_SAI
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) December 23, 2022
Meanwhile, hopes are high for team India who last won the WC way back in 1975, defeating Pakistan by 2-1 in the Final. The road towards their third FIH Hockey World cup final is not going be very easy as they have European giants like Spain, England and Wales. India’s first match will be against Spain at the newly built Birsa Munda Stadium in Rourkela.
Star Drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh will be captaining the Indian side while Amit Rohidas will serves as his depute. As it was mentioned earlier, the 18-man squad was selected after a two day trial at the Sport Authority of India, Benglauru. The team which has been selected contains a good fusion of youth and experience but the question is, can this team land India their first World cup title in 47 years?
Two immensely experienced Goalkeepers – Krishan B Pathak and PR Sreejesh are all set to represent India in the WC stage for the 4th time in their career. The Back line consists of players like Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Surender Kumar, Varun Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh and Nilam Sanjeep Xess.
Congratulations to our two hockey stars @30Amitrohidas and @Nilamxess20 on being selected in the Indian Hockey team for #HWC2023.#Odisha is proud of you and will be cheering for you!#OdishaForHockey pic.twitter.com/iodOSmfh2F
— Odisha Sports (@sports_odisha) December 23, 2022
Young Midfielder Vivek Sagar Prasad will also make his return to the Indian side after sustaining an Ankle injury. He will be alongside Manpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Shamsher Singh and Akashdeep Singh. Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Abhishek Singh and Sukhjeet Singh. Rajkumar Pal and Jugraj Singh are the other two alternatives selected for the World cup.
After India’s tie against Spain on 13th January, the 1975 Champions will face England two days later on 15th January followed by their last match against Wales on 19th January.
Below is the 18-man squad for the Marquee event.
Goalkeepers – Krishan Bahadur Pathak and Sreejesh Parattu Raveendran.
Defenders – Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Surender Kumar, Varun Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh and Nilam Sanjeep Xess.
Midfielders – Vivek Sagar Prasad, Manpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Shamsher Singh and Akashdeep Singh
Forwards – Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Abhishek Singh and Sukhjeet Singh.
Alternate options – Rajkumar Pal and Jugraj Singh