New Delhi, Jul 3: There were few surprises as Hockey India (HI) selected a 16-member side, led by Sardar Singh, for the 2014 Commonwealth Games that would be held in Glasgow, July 23-Aug 3.
Most the players of the squad, that finished ninth in the Hockey World Cup, barring goalkeeper Harjot Singh, midfielders S.K Uthappa, Jasjit Singh and forward Mandeep Singh.
The two new players in the Commonwealth Games side are midfielder Danish Mujtaba and forward Gurwinder Singh Chandi. While Sardar will be leading the side Sreejesh will be his deputy.
The 16-member team was selected by HI selectors B P Govinda, Harbinder Singh, R.P. Singh and Arjun Halappa along with director high performance Roelant Oltmans and chief coach Terry Walsh on the basis of their performance during the selection trials conducted here at the National Stadium.
Sardar, Sreejesh, Danish, Chandi and Gurbaj Singh are the five players who were a part of the side that was humiliated 0-8 by Australia in the final of the 2010 Commonwealth Games here at the National Stadium.
India will play start their Commonwealth Games campaign against Wales July 25, followed by matches against Scotland (July 26), Australia (July 29) and South Africa (July 31).
Chief Coach, Terry Walsh said: “The team is in good shape and ready to take on the challenges in the Commonwealth Games 2014. The entire team is showing strong signs of improvement and is dedicated towards overcoming the areas where they are lacking.”
Sardar said the team was motivated about the Games.
“The whole team is positive about the Commonwealth Games and motivated to perform well in all the matches. We are working on the loop holes by analysing the mistakes made in the matches during the World Cup through video sessions,” he said.
Goalkeeper: P.R.Sreejesh (vice-captain)
Defenders: Gurbaj Singh, Birendra Lakra, Rupinder Pal Singh, Kothajit Singh, V.R. Raghunath
Midfielders: Dharamvir Singh, Sardar Singh (captain), Danish Mujtaba, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam and Manpreet Singh
Forwards: Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, S.V. Sunil, Gurwinder Singh Chandi and Nikkin Thimmaiah