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Two new faces in India's squad for Champions Trophy hockey

November 24, 2014 16:44 IST

India's squad for the men's Champions Trophy hockey

India's squad for the men's Champions Trophy hockey. Photograph: Hockey India

Striker Gurwinder Singh Chandi failed to make the cut as Hockey India announced an 18-member squad, led by Sadar Singh, for the eight-nation Hero men's Champions Trophy, in Bhubaneswar, from December 6-14.

Lalit Upadhyay, who was capped nine times earlier, has been drafted in place of Chandi in the squad, named by Hockey India selectors after trials at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in Delhi on November 18.

Besides Chandi, midfielder Chinglensana Singh Kangujam was also left out and S K Uthappa included in his place.

Hockey India selectors Harbinder Singh, R P Singh, Arjun Halappa, High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans, coach Jude Felix and Scientific Advisor Matthew Eyles attended the meeting to pick the squad, which has only two changes from the one that travelled to Incheon in September and won the Asian Games gold medal.

Striker Akashdeep Singh did not turn up for the trials, which was attended by 26 probables, because of a minor injury, but still found a place in the squad as he is likely to recover in time for the tournament.

Two players -- Harjot Singh and Gurjinder Singh – are the other new faces in the squad.

Sixteen players travelled to Incheon for the Asian Games but Hockey India named 18 for the Champions Trophy, which will be contested between the top eight countries.

Sardar, who has played for the country in 200 matches, was retained as captain and will be assisted by goalkeeper P R Sreejesh.

India plays their first match against Germany on December 6. It will be followed by matches against Argentina on December 7 and the Netherlands on December 9.

Speaking on the team structure and current form, Oltmans said, "Team India is in superb form and after a remarkable performance in the 2014 Asian Games and Test series in Australia, we are more than confident of doing well in this tournament. The team selected has the right combination and will give a tough time to the opponents."

The squad:

Goalkeepers: P R Sreejesh (vice-captain), Harjot Singh

Defenders: Rupinder Pal Singh, V R Raghunath, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh, Gurbaj Singh, Gurjinder Singh

Midfielders: Manpreet Singh, Sardar Singh, Dharamvir Singh, Danish Mujtaba, S K Uthappa

Forwards: Ramandeep Singh, S V Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Lalit Upadhyay.