Feb 17, 2013

Indian team for World Hockey League

After a successful Hockey India League, action once again shifts to national teams as India prepares itself for World hockey League Round 2 starting tomorrow in New Delhi.

Indian team ready for World Hockey League
Round 2 of World hockey League will feature both men and women team of India taking on other contenders for a place in the World Cup 2014. 

Indian men team led by Sardara Singh has couple of new faces in the squad with Ranchi Rhinos forward Mandeep Singh and Runjab Warriors striker Malek Singh drafted in the senior squad from the junior team. Along with these two WSH start Gurjinder Singh is also included in the team after his good performance in the nationals conducted by Hockey India. Also included is Chinglensana Singh Kangujam while the players
who have made way for them are Gurmail Singh, S K Uthappa, Akashdeep Singh and Yuvraj Walmiki. Only thing which will worry the Indian team is the form of goalkeepers; both PR Sreejesh and PT Rao failed to impress anyone during the recently concluded Hockey India League. Despite the problems faced by the goalkeepers the way for round 3 is going to be a cakewalk for the Indian team.

Indian men team are the favorites to win the tournament and progress to Round 3 of the tournament and only credible challenge Indian team will face is from Ireland who are ranked 15th as per FIH rankings. China, who is ranked 18, is the surprise package of the tournament and might pose a challenge to the other teams. The other teams, Bangladesh, Fiji and Oman are just here to make the numbers for the tournament. 

Indian team sweating on fitness of Poonam
Women’s event is going to be totally different as compared to men’s event and the road for Indian team led by Ritu Rani is going to be difficult and Japan ranked 9 are the favorites to win the tournament. Indian coach Neil Hawgood is upbeat about his team’s chances and expecting good result from the tournament. Also Coach Hawgood believes Indian team is much fitter for the tournament due to recent months of training. On his expectations, Hawgood said he will be looking to win all the matches and showcase some good hockey. "I am expecting the girls to play their best hockey in six months. In this event, we can't take any team lightly because we have to win every game. It's not about who we play, we can't afford to lose any match," he stressed. Indian team is still missing the services of Rani Rampal who has not featured in the team over a year due to a knee injury. Fitness of striker Poonam Rani is still a concern for the Indian team who fractured her toe during practice session. Rest of the team is fit and raring to go for the tournament.

Here are the Indian teams for the tournament: 

Goal-keepers: PR Sreejesh, PT Rao. Fullbacks: V R Raghunath (vice-captain), Rupinderpal Singh, Harbir Singh

Halfbacks: Birendra Lakra, Manpreet Singh, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Sardar Singh (captain), Gurjinder Singh

Forwards: Danish Mujtaba, Nithin Thimmaiah, Mandeep Singh, Malik Singh, S V Sunil, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Dharamvir Singh, Gurvinder Singh Chandi


Goal-keepers: Yogita Bali, Savita.

Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Jaspreet Kaur, Joydeep Kaur, Kirandeep Kaur.

Midfielders: Ritu Rani (captain), Chanchan Devi (vice-captain), Namita Toppo, Vandana Katariya, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Lily Chanu Mayengbam.

Forwards: Poonam Rani, Soundarya Yendala, Anupa Barla, Rani, Navjot Kaur, Lilima Minz.

The tournament begins Monday with Indian team facing Fiji in the opening game while Indian women facing Kazakhstan their opening game.

Ten Sports will broadcast the tournament in India.

New to World Hockey League? Check about the tournament here

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