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Ajmer, Sinclair in Asiad hockey team

November 23, 2006 18:55 IST

Young midfielder Ajmer Singh and forward Adam Sinclair are back in the Indian hockey team for next month's Doha Asian Games.

After the exclusion of experienced striker Gagan Ajit Singh and linkman Vikram Pillay from the probables' list, it was imminent that some youngsters would be inducted for the team's campaign in Qatar.

Although the Indian Hockey Federation has not yet announced the team, the 16-member list has been put up on the official Asian Games' website.

As per the list, three major changes have been effected. Defender Harpal Singh's inclusion in place of Kanwalpreet Singh is the third change in the squad, which had a lacklustre showing at the World Cup in Germany, in September.

India had a poor 11th place finish in the 12-team event and players like Gagan Ajit, Pillay and Kanwalpreet had to pay the price for the debacle.

Veteran full-back Dilip Tirkey leads the deep defence while Bangalore-based Arjun Halappa will be in charge of the flock of young strikers.

Experienced duo of Viren Rasquinha and Ignace Tirkey holds key to midfield while consistent performers Adrian D'Souza and Bharat Chetri remain as goalkeepers.

On the front of penalty-corner conversions, India will stick with young drag-flicker V Raghunath.

India, placed in Pool B, meet Bangladesh in their opening match on December 4. They take on China (December 5), Oman (December 8) and Korea (December 10) in subsequent league matches.

The team:

Goalkeepers: Bharat Kumar Chetri, Adrian D'Souza

Defenders: Dilip Tirkey, Harpal Singh, V Raghunath

Midfielders: Viren Rasquinha, Ajmer Singh, Ignace Tirkey, V S Vinay

Forwards: Arjun Halappa, Tushar Khandekar, Hari Prasad, Adam Sinclair, Rajpal Singh, Shivendra Singh, Tejbir Singh.

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