Manpreet Singh will lead India in the upcoming FIH Pro League matches against world number one Belgium, a 24-member team for which was announced on Monday. The squad includes a lone newcomer in Raj Kumar Pal. Harmanpreet Singh has been handed over the vice-captaincy duties for the matches taking place on February 8 and 9 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
Raj Kumar Pal was impressive in his stint with the India Colts team in the past season when it won a silver medal at the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia.
The seasoned P R Sreejesh, Krishan Pathak, Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas, Surender Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh are also part of the squad.
Chief coach Graham Reid said, “The objective of these matches of the FIH Hockey Pro League is to find the balance between giving players opportunities for Olympic selection, working out our strongest combinations and continuing to demonstrate that we can compete with the best teams in the world.”
Reid added, “Raj Kumar Pal has been rewarded for his outstanding form in the recent camps and named in the squad. He possesses extra-ordinary skills and speed, which if given the opportunity will excel against the World No.1 Belgium.”
Indian Team Squad: PR Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak, Harmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas, Surender Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Manpreet Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Chinglensana Singh, Raj Kumar Pal, Dilpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh, Shamsher Singh, Gursahibjit Singh, Kothajit Singh Kadangbam, Birendra Lakra, Nilakanta Sharma, Gurjant Singh, SV Sunil.