Digital Desk: Rupinder Pal Singh, a
veteran drag flicker who recently came out of retirement, will captain India in
the Asia Cup, as Hockey India revealed a 20-member squad for the upcoming event
in Jakarta on Monday. The important tournament is a World Cup qualification and
will take place from May 23 to June 1. Manpreet Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, and
PR Sreejesh are among the senior players who will skip the tournament.
For the event, Birender Lakra has been appointed as Rupinder's deputy. India will be represented by a second-string team.
Rupinder and Lakra both announced their retirement after the Tokyo Olympics last year, but they later made themselves eligible for selection.
Sardar Singh, a former captain and two-time Olympian, will be coaching India for the first time.
Pool A includes India, Japan, Pakistan, and the hosts, Indonesia, while pool B includes Malaysia, Korea, Oman, and Bangladesh.
Yashdeep Siwach, Abhisek Lakra, Manjeet, Vishnukant Singh, and Uttam Singh, all junior World Cup players, are among the ten players making their senior debuts.
Mareeswaren Sakthivel, Sheshe Gowda BM, Pawan Rajbhar, Abharan Sudev, and S Karthi will also be joining the team.
Pankaj Kumar Rajak and Suraj Karkera are the team's goalkeepers. Rupinder, Yashdeep Siwach, Abhisek Lakra, Manjeet Lakra, Dipsan Tirkey, Vishnukant Singh, Raj Kumar Pal, Mareeswaren Sakthivel, Sheshe Gowda BM, and Simranjeet Singh are among the defenders.
The squad also includes forwards Pawan Rajbhar, Abharan Sudev, SV Sunil, Uttam Singh, and S.Karthi.
Maninder Singh and Nilam Sanjeep Xess, both of whom played in the Junior World Cup, have been named as substitute players, while Pawan, Pardeep Singh, Ankit Pal, and Angad Bir Singh have been chosen as standbys.