Harmanpreet Singh was on Tuesday appointed captain of a 22-member Indian men's hockey team for the season opening FIH Pro League matches against Spain and New Zealand in Bhubaneswar. Manpreet Singh has been named as his deputy. (More Hockey News)
India are scheduled to open their campaign against New Zealand on October 28 and will take on Spain on October 30. The hosts will play their second tie against New Zealand on November 4 and face Spain on November 6.
While Harmanpreet will lead the team, he will be ably assisted by the experienced midfielder Manpreet. “We are continuing to expand the leadership skills of the group with Harmanpreet Singh being selected as captain for these first four games," chief coach Graham Reid said in a release.
The team will also see some fresh faces in Mohd Raheel Mouseen, who was part of India's victorious outing in the FIH Hockey 5's earlier this year and S Karthi, who played his maiden tournament for India at the Asia Cup Jakarta.
“We have chosen an experienced squad to play the first two rounds of Pro League starting this weekend in Bhubaneswar. Given that, we also have two new players playing in the Pro League.”
“Mohammed Raheel will make his debut in the 11-a-side format after strong performances including Leading Goal Scorer and Player of the Tournament at the FIH 5’s tournament in Lausanne in June and at the recent National Games in Rajkot.”
The team includes goalkeepers Krishan Bahadur Pathak and PR Sreejesh. Among defenders Jarmanpreet Singh, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Jugraj Singh, Mandeep Mor and Nilam Sanjeep Xess have been selected.
Midfielders Sumit, Manpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Moirangthem Rabichandra Singh, Shamsher Singh, Rajkumar Pal and Mohd Raheel Mouseen have been picked to represent India.
In the forwardline, S Karthi has been rewarded for his performance in the Asia Cup held in Jakarta earlier this year. He will play alongside experienced forwards Mandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Abhishek and Sukhjeet Singh.
All matches will be held at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium, which will also host the men's World Cup in January next year.