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Updated February 1st, 2024 at 14:53 IST

Harmanpreet Singh to lead 24-member Indian hockey team in home Pro League matches

The Indian men's hockey team will be captained by Harmanpreet Singh in the forthcoming FIH Pro League games in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, which are crucial to the squad's preparation for the Olympics in Paris this year.

Harmanpreet Singh reacts after scoring a goal
Harmanpreet Singh reacts after scoring a goal | Image:Hockey India
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Ace drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh will lead the Indian men's hockey team at the upcoming FIH Pro League matches in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, which are key to the side's preparation for this year's Paris Olympics.

Harmanpreet will have midfielder Hardik Singh as his deputy, as Hockey India on Thursday named a 24-member squad for the double-leg fixtures.

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The Bhubaneswar-leg will begin on February 10 and end on February 16 while the Rourkela leg will commence on February 19 and conclude on February 25.

India will play against Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, and Australia twice each across both legs.

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The hosts will begin their campaign against Spain on February 10.

The squad was on the expected lines with striker Boby Dhami and goalkeeper Pawan missing out from the 26-member Indian team that toured South Africa last month.

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The Indian goal post will be manned by veteran PR Sreejesh and Krishan Bahadur Pathak.

The defensive line includes Harmanpreet, Amit Rohidas, Jarmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Sumit, Sanjay, Jugraj Singh, and Vishnukant Singh.

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The midfield will be marshalled by Hardik Singh, Manpreet Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Shamsher Singh, Rajkumar Pal, Nilakanta Sharma and Rabichandra Singh Moirangthem.

The forward line has plenty of experience along with youthful exuberance in Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Sukhjeet Singh, Abhishek, Akashdeep Singh, and Araijeet Singh Hundal, who recently made his debut for the senior side during the South Africa tour.

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"We've carefully selected a well-balanced squad, blending seasoned expertise with the vigour of youth. Our goal is to forge a cohesive unit capable of competing at the highest level," India's chief coach Craig Fulton said.

"The FIH Pro League serves as an ideal platform to refine our strategies and measure our skills against top-tier opponents. The league's significance is paramount, with champions earning a coveted spot in the FIH Hockey World Cup 2026.

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"Additionally, it offers a valuable opportunity to pinpoint areas for enhancement, playing a pivotal role in our preparations for the Paris Olympics. We hold the belief that this exposure will elevate our performance and equip us to confront the impending challenges with confidence," added Fulton.

Team: Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak.

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Defenders: Jarmanpreet Singh, Sumit, Jugraj Singh, Amit Rohidas, Harmanpreet Singh (C), Varun Kumar, Sanjay, Vishnukant Singh.

Midfielders: Hardik Singh (VC), Vivek Sagar Prasad, Manpreet Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Shamsher Singh, Rajkumar Pal, Rabichandra Singh Moirangthem.

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Forwards: Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Sukhjeet Singh, Abhishek, Akashdeep Singh, Araijeet Singh Hundal.

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Published February 1st, 2024 at 14:53 IST

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