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Surprises galore in Indian team

Some experienced players were left out while a few well-known names were put on standby, as the Indian hockey team for the Olympic qualifier was named here on Monday.

The squad, announced by Hockey India, reflected chief coach Michael Nobbs’ stress on fitness and performance. The performance in the Champions Challenge and Test series against South Africa were factored in while selecting the side.

Prominent players like Rajpal Singh, Vikram Pillay and Bharat Chikara did not make the squad of 22 players while experienced midfielders Arjun Halappa and V.S. Vinaya were included only in the list of standbys.

Seasoned goalkeeper Bharat Chetri will lead the side in the six-nation qualifying event and skilful centre-half Sardar Singh will be his deputy.

The selection of three penalty corner experts as defenders spoke about India’s aggressive intentions. There is a possibility that Ignace Tirkey would play the dual role of defender and midfielder.

The squad: Goalkeepers: Bharat Chetri (capt.) and P.R. Sreejesh.Defenders: Sandeep Singh, V.R. Raghunath and Rupinderpal Singh.Midfielders: Sardar Singh (vice-capt.), Manpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, Ignace Tirkey and Kothajit Singh. Forwards: S.V. Sunil, Sarvanjit Singh, Shivendra Singh, Gurwinder Singh Chandi, Tushar Khandekar, Danish Mujtaba, Yuvraj Walmiki and S.K. Uthappa. Standbys: Manjeet Kullu (defender), V.S. Vinaya (midfielder), Arjun Halappa (midfielder) and Chinglensana Singh (forward).

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Posted by on Jan 31 2012. Filed under Sports News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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