Hockey India on Tuesday announced a 24-member Indian team led by Manpreet Singh, who recently became the first Indian, to win the FIH Player of the Year award for the FIH Pro League match to be played against second-placed Australia in the world rankings on 21 and 22 February.
Harmanpreet Singh has been named the deputy to Manpreet Singh for the match that is scheduled to be played at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
Recently, the Indian team, which managed to be ranked fourth in the world rankings, had locked horns with world champions Belgium and produced a 2-1 win in the first match. However, the world champions evened the equation in the last match of the FIH Pro League by registering a 3-2 victory over the Indian team.
The 24-man squad has veteran players like Amit Rohidas, Surendra Kumar, Birendra Lakra, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Gurinder Singh, and Rupinder Pal Singh apart from goalkeepers PR Sreejesh and Krishna Pathak.
The team also includes Vivek Sagar Prasad, Hardik Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Raj Kumar Pal, Akashdeep Singh, Sumit, Lalit Upadhyay, Gursahibjit Singh, Dilpreet Singh, SV Sunil, Jermanpreet Singh, Simranjit Singh, Neelakanta Sharma, and Ramandeep Singh.
The team’s head coach Graham Reid said that after playing a close match against the world champions, we will face another strong team. He said that we have again given strong players in the team who can provide us good balance throughout the match and can help us to compete in one of the best teams in the world.
“After having two high-intensity matches against the World Champions, we will be facing another strong team in Australia. We have again gone with a strong group of players who can provide us with a good balance throughout the field, and help us in competing against one of the best teams in the world,” the Indian coach said while commenting on the team selected for the clash against the Aussies.