The Indian hockey team has a rich Olympic history, winning eight gold and overall 11 medals in the Olympics. However, India won its last Olympic medal in hockey, way back at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. This time the team will be looking forward to break its 40-years medal drought.
The Indian men's team has been clubbed alongside Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and Japan in Pool A. Last week, India had announced a 16-member squad for the Tokyo Olympics, which is starting on July 23rd. Interestingly, 10 Olympic debutants were selected among the 16-members team.
Let's have a look at all the members of the Indian men's hockey team
Manpreet Singh (Captain)
Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Surender Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Birendra Lakra (Defenders)
Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta Sharma, Sumit (Midfielders)
Shamsher Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh (Forwards)
Manpreet Singh, born on (26 June 1992) is the captain of the Indian hockey team at the Tokyo Olympics. He made his international debut at the age of 19 and plays as a halfback for the team. He was part of the team which won the gold medal in the Asian Games at Incheon 2014. After that, he was awarded with Asia's "Junior player of the year" by the Asian Hockey Federation. He has represented India in the 2012, 2016 Olympics, and this will be his third One.
P.R Sreejesh, born on (8 May 1988) is the most experienced player in the team travelling to Tokyo. He is the former captain and plays as a goal-keeper in the Indian team. His international debut came way back in 2006 at the South Asian Games in Colombo, and since then, he has been a part of many international assignments. He was also a part of the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, where he was the captain of the team, leading India into the quarterfinals. He is the only goal-keeper announced in the squad.
Harmanpreet Singh, born on (6 January 1996) plays as a defender for the Indian team. He was part of the 2016 Olympics and also the 2016 Junior World Cup winning team. Since then, the 25-years-old has been a regular feature for the Indian team, and will be determined to perform well in his second Olympics.
Rupinder Pal Singh
Rupinder Pal Singh, born on (11 November 1990) plays as a fullback and is considered to be one of the best drag flickers in the world. He is from Punjab and made his international debut in 2010 at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. The 31-years-old was the vice-captain of the team at the 2014 Men's Hockey World Cup. He was part of the 2014 Asian Games, gold medal-winning team and also at the 2018 Asian games team where India won a bronze medal. This is going to be his second Olympics, after the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Surender Kumar, born on (23 November 1993) is from Haryana who plays as a defender for the Indian team. He made his international debut in 2013, and he was part of the bronze medal-winning team in the 2018 Asian games. The 27-years-old was part of the 2016 Olympics, and this will be his second Olympics at Tokyo.
Amit Rohidas, born on (10 May 1993), is from Odisha who plays as a defender for the Indian team. He was first selected for the Indian team in the 2013 Asia cup and was sidelined for 3 years because of the number of defenders playing in the nation. Since 2017, he has been a regular feature and also was part of the bronze medal-winning team in the 2018 Asian games. Interestingly, this will be his Olympics debut.
Birendra Lakra, born on (3 February 1990), is from Odisha who plays as a fullback in the team. He comes from a family who has produced two more hockey players to the country other than him. His brother Bimal Lakra played as a midfielder for India, and his sister Asunta Lakra captained the Indian women's hockey team before. He has been part of the Indian team on several big occasions, such as the 2014, 2018 Asian Games and silver medal-winning team in the 2014 Commonwealth games. The 31-years-old defender will be going to his second Olympics after he played the first one at the 2012 London Olympics.
Hardik Singh, born on (23 September 1998) is from Punjab who plays as a midfielder for the Indian team. He was the vice-captain of the Indian junior team and was roped in to play for the senior national team in 2018 at the Asian men's hockey Champions trophy and also played the world cup in the same year. The 22-years-old will be making his Olympics debut at Tokyo 2020.
Vivek Sagar Prasad
Vivek Sagar Prasad, born on (25 February 2000) is from Madhya Pradesh who plays as a midfielder for the Indian team. In January 2018, he became the second-youngest debutant to play for India when he made his debut at the age of 17. In 2019, he won the FIH Rising Star of the year and became the first Indian player to win an FIH award. The 21-years-old was part of the youth summer Olympics at which India won a silver medal. This will be his first Olympics at the senior level.
Nilakanta Sharma, born on (2 May 1995), is from Manipur who plays as a midfielder for the Indian team. In 2014, he started his career with the Indian junior team and made his senior international debut only three years later. In 2016, the 26-years-old was part of the junior world cup winning team and the 2018 Asian Champions trophy team. This will be his debut Olympics in Tokyo.
Sumit, born on (20 December 1996), is from Haryana, who plays as a midfielder for the Indian team. He was also part of the 2016 junior world cup winning team and made his senior international debut in 2017 at Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. After that, in 2018, he was part of the Asian Champions trophy-winning side and will be looking forward to making his first Olympic appearance in Tokyo.
Shamsher Singh, born on (29 July 1997) is from Punjab who plays as a forward for the Indian team. He became the first hockey player from Attari to represent an Indian Olympic hockey team (Attari is a village near the India-Pakistan border). The 23-years-old is relatively new to the team, and he made his international debut just two years back. Tokyo Olympics will be his first major tournament and debut at the Olympics too.
Dilpreet Singh, born on (12 November 1999), is from Punjab who plays as a forward for the Indian team. The 21-years-old senior national debut came at the 2018 Champions trophy, at which India won silver and was also part of the bronze medal-winning team at the 2018 Asian games. He has been rewarded for his consistent performance and will be heading for his debut Olympics at Tokyo.
Gurjant Singh, born on (26 January 1995) is from Punjab who plays as a forward for the Indian team. The forward was also part of the 2016 Junior world cup winning team and made his senior international debut in the 2017 Asia Cup at Dhaka. The 26-years-old will be playing in his debut Olympics.
Lalit Kumar Upadhyay
Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, born on (1 December 1993), is from Uttar Pradesh who plays as a forward for the Indian team. He made his senior International debut in 2014, and he was also part of the 2014 men's world cup. Since then, he has been a regular feature for the Indian team winning the 2018 Asian champions trophy, winning a silver medal at the 2018 Champions trophy and winning bronze at the 2018 Asian games. The 27-years-old was not part of the 2016 Rio Olympics, so this will be his debut Olympics.
Mandeep Singh, born on (25 January 1995) is from Punjab who plays as a forward for the Indian team. He made his senior international debut at the 2013 Hockey World league, and he is a very experienced player making 157 appearances for India. He has represented India in every hockey tournament such as Asian games, Asia cup, Champions Trophy, Asian Champions Trophy etc. After the 2016 Rio Olympics, this will be his second Olympics.