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Chinglensana, Sumit return to team for Pro League opener vs Netherlands

Chinglensana made a comeback to the team after a year-long hiatus due to an injury, while Sumit returned to the squad after recovering from a wrist injury

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

India's Chinglensana Kangujam (in blue) in action during a match against South Africa for Men's Hockey World Cup 2018. File Photo: PTI
India's Chinglensana Kangujam (in blue) in action during a match against South Africa for Men's Hockey World Cup 2018. File Photo: PTI

Fit-again mid-fielders Chinglensana Singh and Sumit on Monday returned to the Indian squad for the much-awaited season-opening FIH Pro League 2020 encounter against the Netherlands in Bhubaneswar.

Chinglensana made a comeback to the team after a year-long hiatus due to an injury, while Sumit returned to the squad after recovering from a wrist injury sustained during the FIH Men's Series Final in June.

The 20-member squad announced by India, for the two-match tie

to be held at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, will be led by midfielder Manpreet Singh while dragflicker Harmanpreet Singh will be his deputy.

After skipping the first edition of the event, India are scheduled to make their debut in the Pro League against world no.3 the Netherlands on January 18 and 19.

Chinglensana was on the sidelines since the ninth Hockey India Senior Men National Championship 2019 (A Division) in February where he led the Railways team to victory. He had suffered an ankle fracture in the final.

The 23-year-old Sumit suffered his wrist injury in June during the FIH Men's Series Final where India beat South Africa in the summit clash.

The team also includes experienced goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, Krishan B Pathak, Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas, Surender Kumar and Birendra Lakra.

Dragflicker Rupinder Pal Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta Sharma too have received a call-up.

Striker Gurjant Singh has also been rewarded with a place in the team for his commitment and hard-work shown in the national coaching camp.

Gurjant will join SV Sunil, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Gursahibjit Singh and Kothajit Singh Khadangbam in the forwardline.

"We have chosen a relatively experienced team to take on the Netherlands this weekend in Bhubaneswar. While Varun Kumar will be back in training this week after suffering a nerve injury during the Olympic Qualifiers, he wasn't able to be considered for selection," said India's chief coach Graham Reid.

"We will, however, get a chance to see Chinglensana return to international competition after a full year out and Sumit returns after a six-month hand injury. Both have been training well and are physically fit. Gurjant has also shown great form in training and has earned his spot back in the team," he added.

Reid said India will have to be on their toes in the first three ties of the Pro League as they are pitted against the top teams of the world.

"It will be important to start strong and sharp in the Pro League with our first three encounters against the top three teams in the world. We will be focussing on getting our structures right and honing our set plays as preparation for our Olympic campaign," the Australian said.

India will host the Netherlands (January 18-19), Belgium (February 8-9) and Australia (February 21-22) in their first three encounters of the Pro League.

Indian team: P R Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak, Harmanpreet Singh (Vice Captain), Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas, Surender Kumar, Birendra Lakra, Rupinder Pal Singh, Manpreet Singh (Captain), Vivek Sagar Prasad, Chinglensana Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Sumit, Gurjant Singh, S V Sunil, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh,

Akashdeep Singh, Gursahibjit Singh, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam.

First Published: Mon, January 13 2020. 14:10 IST