Blue Tigers will leave for Doha on Wednesday evening and will play three matches in June. The players are staying in the bio bubble from May 15th, 2021 onwards and the coach Stimac added that once we reach Qatar we will have an intense work session over there.
“It’s not an ideal situation as we move ahead to the Qualifiers in June. Due to the pandemic, our National Camp which was slated to begin in Kolkata at the beginning of May had to get canceled. The pandemic also robbed us of a friendly match in Dubai,” the coach said
“However, we understand the magnitude of the situation, and it will be intense sessions in Doha to raise the tempo and try to get ready for the matches which starts with the one against the Asian Champions Qatar in Doha,” Stimac said.
India will be first locking horns against Asian Champions Qatar on June 3rd followed by a match against Bangladesh and Afghanistan on June 7th and 15th respectively where all the matches will be held at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha. Glan Martins is the only new face out of a 28 member squad.
Captain Sunil Chhetri expressed his relief to get back into the National team set-up. “It’s such a relief to be back in the National team squad – after all, home is where the heart is. Personally, I am eagerly looking forward to being in Doha. The last time I was in Doha, I couldn’t be a part of the match against Qatar owing to illness,” Chhetri said.
“The matches in June are extremely tough and we need to take them one at a time. Given the fact that we don’t have much time, the preparatory camp will add immense value helping all to gel together, and strike that chord ahead of the first match,” he added.
“Doha has always had an emotional connection with me. It was there that I played in the 2011 Asian Cup, and also the AFC Cup final for my club Bengaluru FC.”
India is currently on three points from three matches in Group E.
Let’s have a look at the complete squad described below
GOALKEEPERS: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Dheeraj Singh.
DEFENDERS: Pritam Kotal, Rahul Bheke, Narender Gehlot, Chinglensana Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Adil Khan, Akash Mishra, Subhashish Bose.
MIDFIELDERS: Udanta Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Liston Colaco, Rowllin Borges, Glan Martins, Anirudh Thapa, Pronoy Halder, Suresh Singh, Lalengmawia Ralte, Abdul Sahal, Yasir Mohammad, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Bipin Singh, Ashique Kuruniyan.
FORWARDS: Ishan Pandita, Sunil Chhetri, Manvir Singh.