Hockey India on Wednesday named the 18-member Indian Men's Hockey Team for the 5th Men's Hero Asian Champions Trophy 2018 to begin in Muscat, Oman on 18th October 2018. The Indian team will go into the tournament as the defending Champions as they won the 2016 edition when they beat Pakistan 3-2 in the Final match in Kauntan, Malaysia. The team will be Captained by recent Arjuna Awardee Manpreet Singh while Chinglensana Singh will shoulder the duties of Vice-Captain.
Along with an experienced Goalkeeper in PR Sreejesh, India's 18-member team also features young Goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak, while the defensive unit will see experienced Defender Kothajit Singh Khadangbam make a comeback into the side. Harmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh, Varun Kumar, Surender Kumar and Jarmanpreet Singh will also be involved in India's defense while 20-year-old Hardik Singh will be making his debut for the Senior team.
Manpreet Singh, the recipient of this year's Arjuna Award, will be responsible of commanding the midfield along with the experienced Chinglensana Singh Kangujam. The midfield duo will be joined by Lalit Kumar Upadhyay while Nilakanta Sharma and Sumit also make a comeback into the side. India's forward-line will see 23-year-old striker Gurjant Singh return to the squad while Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh and Dilpreet Singh will hope to score plenty of goals in Oman to help India retain the title.
Speaking about the team composition for the 5th Men's Hero Asian Champions Trophy 2018, Chief Coach Harendra Singh said, "I believe we have a great mix of players in this 18-member team for the Asian Champions Trophy as there is a right balance between youth and experience. The tournament gives us the last chance to test a few players before the Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 and I'm sure that these players will produce the results in Oman. It is important we stick to our plans and have a good outing in this tournament so that we can wash away the bad memories of the 18th Asian Games, and start fresh in the build-up to the World Cup in Odisha."
The Indian team will continue to train in Bhubaneswar, Odisha for the next three weeks where they are undergoing a National Coaching Camp, post which they will leave for the 5th Men's Hero Asian Champions Trophy 2018 to be held from 18th - 28th October 2018 in Muscat, Oman. The World No. 5 team will be up against the likes of Malaysia, Pakistan, South Korea, Japan and hosts Oman, with all the teams playing round-robin matches to progress to the Semi-Finals, with the Bronze Medal and Final match taking place on 28th October 2018.
Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak
Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Surender Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh, Hardik Singh
Midfielders: Manpreet Singh (Captain), Sumit, Nilakanta Sharma, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (Vice Captain)
Forwards: Akashdeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh