Breda (Netherlands), 26 June 2018: Indian Men's Hockey Team ace striker Ramandeep Singh has been ruled out of the ongoing Rabobank Men's Hockey Champions Trophy Breda 2018 due to a knee injury. The MRI reports from Monday came as a big blow to the team ahead of their crucial tie against Defending Champions Australia on Wednesday.
"Ramandeep complained about a pinch in his right knee at half-time during our match against Pakistan. But when we rested him for Argentina match and took him an MRI on Monday, it was revealed that he has sustained a full thickness condral fracture-injury in the center of his right knee," explained Chief Coach Harendra Singh.
With one player down, India will face Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands in must-win matches to earn a place in the Final of the tournament.
Ramandeep has set the momentum right for the Indian team in their opening match against Pakistan after he scored the team's first goal. He had even assisted Lalit Upadhyay in the 60th minute of the match as India had marched to a 4-0 victory.
Though the team will certainly miss the services of the experienced forward, Harendra insisted that this setback should not deter his players from winning.
"We will certainly miss him, we missed him against Argentina too. He is an experienced player and the way he creates space and takes shots on goal has worked for the team. Playing high speed hockey with 17 players can get a bit tiring for the players. But that should not be a deterrent in our pursuit to earn a place in the Final,” he added.
On 27 June 2018, India will face Australia at 18.30 hours IST. After convincingly defeating the reigning Olympic champions, the Indian Team will now be facing World No 1 Australia in what promises to be an excellent clash. It remains to be seen how much Ramandeep's absence will affect the team.