Hockey India on Monday named 24-member Indian men's hockey squad for the upcoming matches against World number 1 Belgium hockey team in the FIH Hockey Pro League to be held on February 8 and 9 at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium, Bhubaneswar.
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The team which will be captained by Manpreet Singh along with Vice Captain Harmanpreet Singh and includes new comer Raj Kumar Pal who was impressive in his stint with the India Colts team in the past season where they won a Silver Medal at the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia. PR Sreejesh, Krishan Pathak, Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas, Surender Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh are also part of the squad.
Vivek Sagar Prasad, Chinglensana Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh, Shamsher Singh, Gursahibjit Singh and Kothajit Singh, S.V. Sunil, Birendra Lakra, Gurjant Singh and Nilakanta Sharma will also be part of the 24-member squad.
Speaking about the team selected to take on World Champions Belgium, Chief Coach Graham Reid said, "The objective of these matches of the FIH Hockey Pro League is to find the balance between giving players opportunities for Olympic selection, working out our strongest combinations and continuing to demonstrate that we can compete with the best teams in the world."
Reid further stated: "Raj Kumar Pal has been rewarded for his outstanding form in the recent camps and named in the squad. He possesses extra-ordinary skills and speed, which if given the opportunity will excel against the World No.1 Belgium."