Hockey India on Monday named a 20-member men's senior team for the upcoming Asia Cup set to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia from May 23 to June 1 2022.
The World Cup qualifier event will have two pools. India, Japan, Pakistan and host Indonesia are placed in pool A while Malaysia, Korea, Oman and Bangladesh are grouped in pool B.
The defending champion will be led by seasoned drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh while Birendra Lakra was named as the vice-captain. The team will have as many as 10 players make their senior India debut.
This includes FIH Hockey men's Junior World Cup players Yashdeep Siwach, Abhisek Lakra, Manjeet, Vishnukant Singh and Uttam Singh. The team will also see new faces in Mareeswaren Sakthivel, Sheshe Gowda BM, Pawan Rajbhar, Abharan Sudev and S Karthi.
Speaking about the team composition, 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."
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Former India Captain and two-time Olympian Sardar Singh who will also accompany the team as a coach said the players have shown great potential over the last few month. "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," Sardar said.
India men's squad for Asia Cup