Birendra Lakra will replace injured defender-dragflicker Varun Kumar for the crucial FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers Odisha matches against Russia at the Kalinga Stadium here on November 1 and 2.
Varun sustained an injury on his right shoulder and bicep during training at the stadium on Monday.
Chief coach Graham Reid said that he has been asked to rest for a few week by the medical staff before returning to the field. “We have decided to replace him with Birendra Lakra, a class defender with over 170 International Caps. He is very experienced and knows well the conditions in Bhubaneswar and is ready to play,” he added.