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Sreejesh makes comeback, Sardar dropped from CWG bound squad

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Seasoned PR Sreejesh made a comeback while former was dropped from the 18-member Indian hockey squad led by for the upcoming 21st in

The Indian team are in Pool B along with Pakistan, Malaysia, Wales, England and will begin their campaign on April 7 against


While Manpreet dons the captain's armband, the responsibilities of his deputy will be shouldered by Chinglensana Singh Kangujam.

It was under Manpreet's leadership the Indian team lifted the coveted Asia Cup 2017 followed by a bronze medal feat at the Men's Hockey World League Final in Bhubaneswar, last year.

Veteran Sreejesh is back after having suffered a medial collateral ligament (MCL) during the Azlan Shah tournament in 2017. His brilliant show during the tour saw him get his rightful place back.

He will be backed by the 22-year-old talent who played a crucial part in the team's good show in Bhubaneswar last year in his senior counterpart's absence.

Sardar's exclusion was on expected lines as he performed below-par at this year's Azlan Shah tournament. However a few eyebrows were raised with being dropped despite his decent show in the same tournament.

Youngsters Dilpreet Singh and Vivek Sagar Prasad, who made their international debut during the tour have been rewarded with this opportunity for their good show. Both the players scored in important games.

Freeman and drag-flick expert will form India's wall of defence along with Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh, and

India's midfield will see in the lead role, ably supported by the experience of Chinglensana along with young blood in Sumit and Vivek.

The Indian attack will feature a lethal combination between experience and youth as SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh and Dilpreet Singh are all in the team.

This squad has been picked keeping in mind the performance in the previous tournaments since the Asia Cup 2017. We have tried out different combinations in the past events and we believe this will be the most effective combination for the 2018 XXI Commonwealth Games, said

He further stated that the team has a winning mindset and will look to aim for the best in the quadrennial event.

This team has been improving with every match and while we could not produce a podium finish at the 27th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2018, it will have no influence on how we are going to play in and we will be going there with a mindset to win," said the 43-year-old Dutch

In the previous two outings at the Commonwealth Games, has finished second behind Manpreet Singh, however, is confident of turning the tables this time.

Our first aim is to do well in the group stage because we have some strong teams in our Pool. It's extremely crucial to top our table and make the semi-final but if we do meet in the knockouts, I believe we will be up for a strong challenge. said the 25-year-old Manpreet.

Squad: Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Suraj Karkera;

Defenders: Rupinder Pal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh, Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas;

Midfielders: (C), Chinglensana Singh (vice-captain), Sumit, Vivek Sagar Prasad; Forwards: Akashdeep Singh, SV Sunil, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Dilpreet Singh.

Coach:

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 13 2018. 11:15 IST
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