Odisha Hockey WC: Harmanpreet Singh Named India captain, Amit Rohidas His Deputy In 18-Member Squad
Bhubaneswar: Hockey India on Friday announced the 18-member team for the prestigious FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup, which is scheduled to be held in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela from January 13-29.
Ace drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh has been named the captain of the squad with Odisha’s Amit Rohidas as the Vice Captain. The team, strategically selected after two-day trials in SAI Centre, Bengaluru, where 33 players were put to test, is a good mix of experienced and young players.
The Indian team grouped in pool D along with England, Spain and Wales will begin their campaign on January 13 2023 at the newly-built Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela.
>> Goalkeepers: Krishan B Pathak and PR Sreejesh, who will be playing his fourth World Cup – his third on home soil.
>> Defenders: The defence will be spearheaded by Captain Harmanpreet Singh along with Vice Captain Amit Rohidas, Surender Kumar, Varun Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh and Nilam Sanjeep Xess.
>> Midfielders: Manpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Shamsher Singh and the experienced Akashdeep Singh. Young prodigy Vivek Sagar Prasad, who missed the recent tour of Australia as well as the FIH Hockey Pro League due to an ankle injury, would join them.
>> Forward: Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and youngsters Abhishek and Sukhjeet Singh
The two alternate players chosen are Rajkumar Pal and Jugraj Singh.
“The World Cup is the most important ‘Hockey Only’ tournament there is. A home World Cup puts extra importance and extra pressure on this event like no other. Every country chooses the best team they believe is available to them at the time and tries to provide their team with the best preparation they can. We have also tried to do both with the selection of our Indian World Cup team, choosing a mixture of experienced and younger exciting players who can provide something special,” Chief Coach Graham Reid said.
“We have also had great preparation over the last two months including a home Pro League series and a very tough tour to Australia against the World’s No.1. We are looking forward to getting to Odisha and putting the finishing touches to our preparations for what will be an exciting and challenging tournament ahead,” Reid stated.
India will begin their World Cup campaign against Spain in Rourkela on January 13 followed by their second pool D match against England. They will move to Bhubaneswar to play their third pool match against Wales.
The knockout stage will begin with crossover matches on January 22 and 23 and the Quarterfinals on January 25 and Semifinals on January 27. The Bronze Medal match and the Final will be held on January 29.