It can be recollected that Rajpal had given up the captaincy to Arjun Halappa in the Azlan Shah Cup earlier in 2011.
However, there are challenges for Rajpal as he has got a relatively young team for the tournament. In the Asian Champions Trophy, India will be missing the services of senior players like Halappa, Shivendra Singh, Dharamvir, Tushar Khandekar and Bharat Chikara, all of whom are down with injuries.
The squad announced by Hockey India selectors Col Balbir Singh, B P Govinda and A B Subbaiah along with government observers Harbinder Singh and Dilip Tirkey were selected after a two-day trial at Bengaluru on August 13 and 14.
Ace drag-flicker Sandeep Singh and mid-fielder Sardara Singh, who were issued a show-cause notice by Hockey India for attending a promotional event of World Series Hockey last month, have also found a place in the squad.
The other three rebel players - goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza and veteran forward Prabhjot Singh have been ignored by the selectors for the upcoming tournament, while Halappa is injured.
There will be two goalkeepers, three defenders, five mid-fielders and eight forwards in the 18-member squad.
The selectors have also named six standby players for the tournament in which top six teams of last year's Guangzhou Asian Games -- Pakistan, Malaysia, South Korea, India, Japan and China will participate.
Expressing his satisfaction with the squad, India's chief coach Micheal Nobbs who will be in his first assignment at the helm, said, "I think I am happy with the team. All the selectors and coaches were unanimous on team selection. While selecting the team we kept in mind not just this tournament but also Australian tour and Champions Trophy in December."India will play their first match of the tournament against hosts China on September 3.
Goalkeepers: Bharat Chetri, PR Sreejesh.
Defenders: Sandeep Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Harpreet Singh.
Midfielders: Sardar Singh, Gurbaj Singh, Ignace Tirkey, Manpreet Singh, Manjit Kullu.
Forwards: Rajpal Singh (captain), Danish Mujtaba, Sarvanjit Singh, SV Sunil, Ravi Pal, Gurvinder Singh Chandi, Roshan Minz, Yuvraj Walmiki.
Standbys: Kamaldeep Singh (Goalkeeper), VR Raghunath (Defender), Vikas Sharma (Midfielder), Birender Lakra (Midfielder), Mandip Antil (Forward), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (Forward).
Schedule: September 3 - India vs China, September 4 - India vs Japan, September 6 - India vs South Korea, September 7 - India vs Malaysia, September 9 - India vs Pakistan, September 11 - Classification Matches and Final.