Bengaluru, May 31: Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh will lead India in the Champions Trophy to be held in Breda, the Netherlands, from June 23 to July 1.
Experienced names Sardar Singh (midfield), Ramandeep Singh (forward) and Birendra Lakra (defence) are back in the side for the Champions Trophy but Rupinderpal Singh did not make the cut.
In another change, Krishan Pathak has replaced Suraj Karkera as second choice goalkeeper behind Sreejesh. Karkera and Pathak did the custodian duty for India during the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey earlier this year in Malaysia in the absence of Sreejesh.
A training camp with Champions Trophy in focus is currently undergoing in the Sports Authority of India centre in Bengaluru from May 28 lasting 21 days and features a total of 48 players. India's chief coach Harendra Singh will oversee the camp.
"In the previous camp, we focused a lot on individual players' skill set to ensure fewer errors. A lot of attention was also on goal scoring and PC defending," stated Harendra.
"I believe we have a very strong pool of players to choose from for the Champions Trophy to be held in Breda. Since this is the last edition of the prestigious event, there is no doubt we want to be part of history by standing on the podium. That is what our focus will be on as we begin the National Camp," said Harendra.
Indian #hockey team for #ChampionsTrophy announced. Sardar Singh, Ramandeep and Birendra Lakra back; Krishan Pathak replaces Suraj Karkera as second choice goalie; Rupinderpal misses out pic.twitter.com/dDZBbLcMkU— Mihir Vasavda (@mihirsv) May 31, 2018
Champions Trophy, Harendra Singh, will give the players a strong launching pad ahead of the Asian Games. "It's a big opportunity to test our players and help prepare for the Asian Games. It's the best six warm-up games we'll get. Last time we finished with silver and I want that winning mentality," Harendra was quoted as saying by the Times of India.
India squad: Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh (Captain), Krishan Bahadur Pathak.
Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Surender Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, Amit Rohidas.
Midfielders: Manpreet Singh, Kangujam Singh (Vice-captain), Sardar Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad.
Forwards: VS Sunil, Ramandeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Sumit Kumar (Jr), Akashdeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh.