New Delhi: Hockey India on Thursday named 18 players for the Indian Men’s team for the Olympic Test Event which is set to be played between 17-21 August 2019 in Japan.
Two players from Odisha, Ashis Topno and Nilam Sanjeep Xess have been included in the squad, Hockey India said.
Midfielder Ashis will be making his debut in the series. Midfielder Sanjeep already has 10 international caps to his name.
The team management has decided to rest senior players such as Captain Manpreet Singh, PR Sreejesh and Surender Kumar. The Indian team Chief Coach Graham Reid said that the break will help the players shake off any niggling injuries and get fresh ahead of the Olympic qualifying matches in November.
“We are resting some senior players including Manpreet Singh some of whom have had a very rigorous last 12 months of hockey and will give them a chance to shake off any niggling injuries and get fresh for the next three months of preparation for the November qualifying matches,” said Reid.
In the absence of the senior players, Harmanpreet Singh and Mandeep Singh have been named the Captain and Vice Captain respectively and two players – Ashis Topno and Shamsher Singh have earned their debut spots in the Indian national team. However, experienced striker SV Sunil has returned to the national team after a gap of nine months.
Reid expressed that the Olympic Test Event will give a few players a chance to show their mettle at the international stage.
“With no world ranking points at risk, the Tokyo test event gives us an ideal opportunity to not only get a first hand look at how Tokyo is shaping up for next year’s Olympics, we will also see some players who have not had a chance to show us what they can do on the international stage,” said Reid.
Indian Men’s Team List:
1. Krishan Bahadur Pathak
2. Gurinder Singh
3. Harmanpreet Singh (Captain)
4. Kothajit Singh Khadangbam
5. Hardik Singh
6. Nilakanta Sharma
7. Vivek Sagar Prasad
8. Jaskaran Singh
9. Mandeep Singh (Vice Captain)
10. Gursahibjit Singh
11. Nilam Sanjeep Xess
12. Jarmanpreet Singh
13. Varun Kumar
14. Ashis Topno
15. SV Sunil
16. Gurjant Singh
17. Shamsher Singh
18. Suraj Karkera