Continuing their rotation policy to keep senior stars fresh for the Rio Olympics, Hockey India’s selection committee rested skipper Sardar Singh and Rupinder Pal Singh for the Champions Trophy in Lond
Continuing their rotation policy to keep senior stars fresh for the Rio Olympics, Hockey India’s selection committee rested skipper Sardar Singh and Rupinder Pal Singh for the Champions Trophy in London from June 10 to 17.
In the team announced on Tuesday, ace custodian P.R. Sreejesh will lead while striker S.V. Sunil was named deputy for the forthcoming event where India will face top sides Germany and Australia.
Following a rotation policy over selecting players, India coach Roelant Oltmans said, “We’ve rested a few players. There’s one moment this year when we all have to peak, and that’s in August. If you look at how much these guys have played over the last couple of years, it’s time for a break.”
Following the Champions Trophy, the Indian team will play the Six-Nation Tournament in Valencia before completing preparations for the Olympics in August. “In Valencia, I want all the seniors to be back in the team. So there was no other option than to give them a break right now, which absolutely will help us in August,” added Oltmans.
Seasoned players V.R. Ragunath, Kothajit Singh, S.K. Uthappa and Akashdeep Singh are in the squad while Devinder Walmiki, who missed the Azlan Shah tournament with a shoulder injury, has worked his way back. “He’s fit now, he’s training hard, and deserves a chance to show himself and try to get a berth in the Olympics squad,” claimed Oltsman.
Defender Harmanpreet Singh was also retained along with junior players Harjeet Singh and goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya for the tour.
On the youngsters making the backline, Sreejesh believes the key to success will be the understanding between him and the defenders.
Squad: P.R. Sreejesh (capt), Vikas Dahiya, Pradeep Mor, V.R. Raghunath, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Danish Mujtaba, Chinglensana Singh, Manpreet Singh, S.K. Uthappa, Devinder Walmiki, Harjeet Singh, Talwinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, S.V. Sunil (vice-capt), Akashdeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah.