Two players from Odisha have been selected in the Indian Men’s Hockey squad. The 18-member team will represent the host nation at the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup-2018 scheduled to begin on November 28 at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in the capital city of Odisha.
Defenders Birendra Lakra and Amit Rohidas are the two players to get selected. The team will be led by Manpreet Singh while the vice-captain is Chinglensana Singh Kangujam. The Indian team, scheduled to begin their campaign against South Africa on the opening day.
Odisha’s experienced defender Birendra Lakra, who makes a comeback into the team after missing out the Hero Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat last month due to rehabilitation, will be joined by fellow Odia Amit Rohidas, Surender Kumar, Kothajit Singh and 2016 Junior World Cup winners Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar to form India’s defence with three of them specialized as drag flickers.
India grouped in Pool C along with World No.3 Belgium, Canada and South Africa will need to finish on top of the pool to secure a place in the Quarter Final.
Chief Coach Harendra Singh said “We have chosen the best available combinations for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. We had to make some tough decisions to select 18 out of a very strong pool of 34 players. The final 18 are a mix of experienced and youth and have been selected on the basis of their current form and fitness. These players have consistently shown their potential in the lead up to the showpiece event and I am confident India will put up a fighting performance,”.