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Three Odia players to play World Hockey League in Bhubaneswar

Hockey India on Friday announced the 18-member Indian Men’s Hockey Team for the biggest tournament of the year, the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017 starting on December 1 at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar. India are grouped with Australia, England and Germany in Pool B and will begin their campaign on the opening day against defending champions Australia.

The Indian Team will be led by 25-year-old midfielder Manpreet Singh, while the responsibilities of his deputy will be shouldered by Chinglensana Singh. The team will see Akash Chikte and Suraj Karkera guard the Indian goalpost.

The midfield will see SK Uthappa, Kothajit Singh and Sumit join Manpreet and Chinglensana. The backline will see the return of the experienced dragflick specialist Rupinder Pal Singh and Odisha-lad Birendra Lakra. “It is good to have Rupinder, who brings great experience, as well as Birendra back in the team. Both are 100 per cent fit and eager to wear the India colours again,” stated the 43-year-old Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne.

Junior World Cup stars Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar and Dipsan Tirkey who have had promising outings in Europe and Asia Cup too find themselves in the squad for the season finale. In perhaps one of the best comeback stories of the year, Odisha-lad Amit Rohidas, who had a fantastic outing in 2017 Coal India Hockey India League that stemmed his return to the Senior Camp, has been rewarded with a place in the biggest tournament of the year.

The forwardline will see the experienced SV Sunil along with Akashdeep Singh, Gurjant Singh who had a promising Asia Cup, Lalit Upadhyay and 22-year-old Mandeep Singh returning to the team after being rested for Asia Cup.

SQUAD:

Goalkeepers
1.  Akash Anil Chikte
2.  Suraj Karkera

Defenders
3.  Harmanpreet Singh
4.  Amit Rohidas
5.  Dipsan Tirkey
6.  Varun Kumar
7.  Rupinderpal Singh
8.  Birendra Lakra

Midfielders
9.    Manpreet Singh (C)
10.  Chinglensana Singh (VC)
11.  SK Uthappa
12.  Sumit
13.  Kothajit Singh

Forwards
14.  SV Sunil
15.  Akashdeep Singh
16.  Mandeep Singh
17.  Lalit Kumar Upadhyay
18.  Gurjant Singh

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