Rupinder Pal Singh to lead Indian hockey team at Hero Men's Asia Cup

Rupinder Pal Singh to lead Indian hockey team at Hero Men's Asia Cup

New Delhi, May 9, 2022

Experienced drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh will lead the 20-member Indian hockey team for the Hero Men's Asia Cup to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia from May 23 to June 1.

Birender Lakra will be the vice-captain of the team, a press release from Hockey India said.

Both Rupinder and Lakra were members of the bronze medal-winning Indian team at the Tokyo Olympics last year.

The prestigious event, which is a World Cup qualifier, will see India, the defending champions, Japan, Pakistan and hosts Indonesia in pool A while Malaysia, Korea, Oman and Bangladesh are grouped in pool B.

The team has as many as 10 players who could make their senior India debut. They include FIH Hockey Men's Junior World Cup players Yashdeep Siwach, Abhisek Lakra, Manjeet, Vishnukant Singh and Uttam Singh. Also new in the team will be Mareeswaren Sakthivel, Sheshe Gowda BM, Pawan Rajbhar, Abharan Sudev and S Karthi.

The team includes goalkeepers Pankaj Kumar Rajak, Suraj Karkera, defenders Rupinder Pal Singh, Yashdeep Siwach, Abhisek Lakra, Birendra Lakra, Manjeet, Dipsan Tirkey, Vishnukant Singh, Raj Kumar Pal, Mareeswaren Sakthivel, Sheshe Gowda BM, Simranjeet Singh.

Forwards Pawan Rajbhar, Abharan Sudev, SV Sunil, Uttam Singh and S.Karthi have also been named in the squad.

Junior World Cup player Maninder Singh and Nilam Sanjeep Xess have been named as replacement players while Pawan, Pardeep Singh, Ankit Pal and Angad Bir Singh have been named as standbys.

Coach BJ Kariappa said, "The team is a good mix of experienced senior players and newcomers, many of whom have played at the international level in different age-group matches but have not made their Senior India debut. Since India has already qualified for the FIH Men's World Cup by virtue of being the hosts, this will be a good platform for us to try out this new group and test how these players utilize the opportunity."

Former India Captain and two-time Olympian Sardar Singh who will also accompany the team as coach said that the players have shown great potential over the last few months during the national camp.

"This is a very talented group of players and I have seen them work really hard over the past few weeks to earn a place in the team. On a personal front, this will be my first tournament as India Coach and I am looking forward to this new experience," stated Sardar.

The team:

Goalkeepers: 1. Pankaj Kumar Rajak 2. Suraj Karkera

Defenders: 3. Rupinder Pal Singh (Captain), 4. Yashdeep Siwach, 5. Abhisek Lakra 6. Birendra Lakra (Vice Captain) 7. Manjeet 8. Dipsan Tirkey

Midfielders: 9. Vishnukant Singh 10. Raj Kumar Pal 11. Mareeswaren Sakthivel 12. Sheshe Gowda BM 13. Simranjeet Singh

Forwards: 14. Pawan Rajbhar 15. Abharan Sudev 16. SV Sunil 17. Uttam Singh 18. S.Karthi

Replacement Players: 19. Maninder Singh 20. Nilam Sanjeep Xess

Standbys: 1. Pawan 2. Pardeep Singh 3. Ankit Pal 4. Angad Bir Singh


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