Bengaluru, May 19: The Indian men's 18-man hockey squad for the Hockey World League Semi-finals was reported on Thursday (May 18) and, instead of goalkeeper and skipper P.R. Sreejesh, Young midfielder Manpreet Singh has been chosen as the captain.
The midfielder will also lead the same team in the invitational three-country hockey competition in the next month at Dusseldorf, Germany.
The choice was taken after star goalkeeper and regular skipper Sreejesh was precluded from the HWL and European tournament because of a knee injury while playing against Australia at the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Tournament.
Instead of Sreejesh Hockey India have selected Akash Chikte and Vikas Dahiya as alternative goalkeepers.
Head coach Roelant Oltmans has frequently rotated his squad keeping an eye for the next world Cup and in the next two tournaments, he continued the same.
The Dutch coach has again taken an attacking approach while selecting the team and again gave a chance to newcomer Ramandeep Singh, who was given a break for Azlan Shah Cup earlier this month.
Other than Ramandeep, other star attackers like Talwinder Singh, SV Sunil, Mandeep Singh and Akashdeep Singh were also included.
Coach Roelant Oltmans said: "The idea was to bring in a couple of changes in positions after Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. Like I had said before, there are three tours this year including Azlan Shah Cup where we would like to give opportunities to younger players."
"Though we are taking a few players who are not that experienced, we still want to do well and the aim is to finish in Top 2 at the Men's Hockey World League Semi Final and I look forward to see how the boys will perform against big teams."
India will play Germany and Belgium in the 3 Nations Invitational competition and will face Netherlands, Canada, Pakistan and Scotland in the Hockey World League semi-finals in London. The group is preparing at Bengaluru and will leave for Europe on May 29.
Goalkeepers: Akash Chikte, Vikas Dahiya;
Defenders: Pardeep Mor, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Rupinderpal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh;
Midfielders: Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (Vice-Captain), S.K. Uthappa, Satbir Singh, Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh (Captain), Harjeet Singh
Forwards: Ramandeep Singh, S.V. Sunil, Talwinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh.