Asia Cup: Rupinder Pal Singh to lead IndiaMay 10, 2022
Veteran drag-flicker Rupinderpal Singh will lead a 20-member Indian men’s hockey team for the upcoming Asia Cup to be held from May 23 to June 1 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Defender Birendra Lakra is appointed as the vice-captain. Interestingly, both Rupinder Pal and Birendra had announced their retirement soon after the Tokyo Olympic Olympics but earlier this year, they made themselves available for selection again for the national team. Veteran forward SV Sunil is also among the 20 players Hockey India picked for the tournament.
India are in pool A along with Japan, Pakistan and hosts Indonesia, while Malaysia, Korea, Oman and Bangladesh are grouped in pool B. India will start their Asia Cup Men’s Hockey title defence with a blockbuster clash against arch-rivals Pakistan on the opening day of the competition.
Yashdeep Siwach, Abhisek Lakra, Manjeet, Vishnukant Singh and Uttam Singh. Also new in the team will be Mareeswaren Sakthivel, Sheshe Gowda BM, Pawan Rajbhar, Abharan Sudev and S Karthi will be making their senior India debut.
Junior World Cup players Maninder Singh and Nilam Sanjeep Xess have been named as replacement players while Pawan, Pardeep Singh, Ankit Pal and Angad Bir Singh have been named as standbys.
“The team is a good mix of experienced senior players and newcomers, many of whom have played at the international level in different age-group matches but have not made their Senior India debut. Since India has already qualified for the World Cup by virtue of being the hosts, it will be a good platform for us to try out this new set of players,” says coach BJ Kariappa.
Former India Captain Sardar Singh will also accompany the team. He said: “This is a very talented group of players and I have seen them work really hard over the past few weeks to earn a place in the team. On a personal front, this will be my first tournament as India Coach and I am looking forward to this new experience.”
Goalkeepers: Pankaj Kumar Rajak, Suraj Karkera
Defenders: Rupinder Pal Singh (Captain), Yashdeep Siwach, Abhisek Lakra, Birendra Lakra (vice-captain), Manjeet, Dipsan Tirkey
Midfielders: Vishnukant Singh, Raj Kumar Pal, Mareeswaren Sakthivel, Sheshe Gowda BM, Simranjeet Singh
Forwards: Pawan Rajbhar, Abharan Sudev, SV Sunil, Uttam Singh, S.Karthi
Replacement Players: Maninder Singh, Nilam Sanjeep Xess
Standbys: Pawan, Pardeep Singh, Ankit Pal, Angad Bir Singh