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Captaincy an honour and big responsibility: Harmanpreet Singh


ANI Hockey
Indian drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh who made a foray into the hockey team in 2015, will be leading the side in the upcoming Olympic Test event and said the role of captaincy will be a big responsibility.
"When I was told that I would be leading the team, it was a pleasant surprise. It is an honour and a big responsibility. I am excited and looking forward to the challenge," Harmanpreet Singh said in an official statement.
He was part of the team in Rio 2016 Olympics, and he was also the part of the Silver medal-winning side in the FIH Champions Trophy. Harmanpreet was also adjudged as the Rising Player of the Tournament.
The player since then has not looked back and he has shown versatile performances in international tournaments.
"When I look back, I feel fortunate to have come into the Indian team at a time when there were stalwart players from whom I could learn a lot. Players like Sardar Singh and VR Raghunath had a positive impact on my nascent days in the Senior team and their guidance helped me soak up the pressures of International hockey," Harmanpreet said.
Hockey India on July 25 had announced an 18-member squad for the Olympic Test event in Japan.
The team management had decided to rest senior players such as captain Manpreet Singh, PR Sreejesh and Surender Kumar. The Indian team chief coach Graham Reid had said that the break will help the players shake off any niggling injuries and refresh themselves ahead of the Olympic qualifying matches in November.
In the absence of senior players, Harmanpreet Singh and Mandeep Singh were named as the captain and vice-captain respectively and two players - Ashis Topno and Shamsher Singh earned their debut spots in the Indian national team.
Harmanpreet welcomed the challenge of playing in the Olympic Test event, saying in the absence of the senior players, the youngsters will get the much-needed exposure.
"Malaysia, Japan and New Zealand are good teams to play against and see where we stand as a unit ahead of the Olympic Qualifiers. Malaysia recently beat Germany in a match and Japan too are doing well while New Zealand is coming into the event with good exposure from the FIH Pro League," Harmanpreet said.
"In the absence of senior players who are rested, it is important we step-up our game. We are well-prepared, having attended a special Goalkeepers Camp and Defenders Camp. We will be playing every match with the intent to win," he stated," he added.
The 18-member Indian squad is as follows for Olympic Test Event:
Harmanpreet Singh (captain), Mandeep Singh (vice-captain), Krishan Bahadur Pathak, Gurinder Singh, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Hardik Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Jaskaran Singh, Gursahibjit Singh, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Jarmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Ashis Topno, SV Sunil, Gurjant Singh, Shamsher Singh, Suraj Karkera.
The Olympic Test event is scheduled to be held between August 17 to 21 in Japan.

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First Published: Jul 31 2019 | 1:21 PM IST

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