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Dilip Tirkey to lead India

February 02, 2004 15:19 IST

Ending its experiment with youngsters, the Indian Hockey Federation on Sunday announced a near full strength squad for the upcoming three-Test series against Olympic Champions Holland beginning in Hyderabad on February 5.

The 21-member team to be led by defender Dilip Tirkey, has just one new face in William Xalco. Rajinder Singh will be the team coach.

Mercurial forward Dhanraj Pillay, who was injured during the Sultan Azlan Shah Trophy last month in Malaysia, was left out of the squad.

India, who finished last in Malaysia, are looking at this Test series as an ideal preparation for the Olympic qualifiers to be held in Spain next month.

The second and third Test matches will also be played in Hyderabad on February 7 and 8.

The Dutch, who will be playing a Test series in India after a gap of over 26 years, is reportedly coming with a full strength squad.

The Dutch, who are the defending Olympic champions, have to qualify for the four-yearly event due to the new eligibility rule according to which only the continental champions are entitled to a direct berth in the Games.

Germany are currently the European Champions while India lost to South Korea in the Busan Asian Games 2002 and missed out on a direct entry.

Indian Squad: Devesh Chauhan, Bharat Chetri, Kamaldeep Singh (goalkeepers); Dilip Tirkey (captain), Kanwalpreet Singh, William Halco, Harpal Singh (defenders); Ignace Tirkey, Vikram Pillay, Len Aiyyapa, V S Vinay, Viren Rasquinha, Bimal Lakra (midfielders); Gagan Ajit Singh, Sandeep Michael, Prabhjot Singh, Arjun Halappa, Inderjeet Singh, Baljit Singh Dhillon, Didar Singh and Tejbir Singh (forwards).

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