Another player making a return to the national fold after an injury-forced absence in the 16-man squad to be led by Sardar Singh, is Danish Mujtaba. Two players – Ramandeep Singh and Nikkin Thimmaiah – who sustained injuries on the eve of the 2014 World Cup and missed the event, have recuperated and are included in the side. The forwardline is conspicuous by the absence of Mandeep Singh, while SV Sunil who had a poor World Cup, retains his place in the side. Lalit Upadhyay and Yuvraj Walmiki, who both played in the World Cup as late replacements for the ininjured duo of Ramandeep Singh and Nikkin Thimmaiah find themselves out of the squad.
Jasjit Singh, who made his senior international debut at the recent World Cup is excluded along with reserve goalkeeper Harjot Singh as the squad has only one goalkeeper. Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, who recently became a father, was named the vice-captain of the side and takes over the role from Rupinder Pal Singh who was Sardar’s deputy in the World Cup.
The squad was picked by Hockey India selectors Mr. B P Govinda, Mr. Harbinder Singh, Dr. R P Singh and Mr. Arjun Halappa alongwith Director High Performance Mr. Roelant Oltmans and Chief Coach Mr. Terry Walsh on the basis of their performance during the selection trials conducted at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi on June 30 and July 1.
The squad: Goalkeepers: P R Sreejesh (vice-captain); Defenders: Rupinder Pal Singh, V R Raghunath; Midfielders: Birendra Lakra, Gurbaj Singh, Kothajit Singh, Sardar Singh (captain), Danish Mujtaba, Manpreet Singh; Forwards: Dharamvir Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, S V Sunil, Gurwinder Singh Chandi, Nikkin Thimmaiah.
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