Gurbaj returns to Indian squad

Gurbaj returns to Indian squad

Sardar skipper for Holland bash

 Sardar Singh will lead the 18-member men's hockey team in the Rabobank Hockey World Cup at The Hague (The Netherlands) from May 31 to June 15, it was announced on Wednesday.

The squad was on the expected lines with dragflicker Rupinder Pal Singh being named the vice-captain. While midfielder Gurbaj Singh makes a return to spruce up the defence, Jasjit Singh will be making his international debut. There are seven standbys.
A total of 33 players were selected as probables for the World Cup two months ago.

The team was picked on the basis of the selection trials held on May 5 and 6 at the Major Dhyan Chand National Hockey Stadium here. The selection committee comprised BP Govinda, RP Singh, Arjun Halappa along with director High Performance Roelant Oltmans and chief coach Terry Walsh.

Forward Yuvraj Walmiki, Danish Mujtaba and dragflicker Gurjinder Singh did not find a place in the main squad.

“Our major focus during the preparations for the 2014 World Cup remained in physiological improvement and identification of key playing concepts we believe can produce the results with appropriate implementation,” Walsh said.

PR Sreejesh and Harjot Singh will be the goalkeepers, while the defence line includes VR Raghunath, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Rupinder Pal and Manpreet Singh. Led by Sardar, SK Uthappa, Dharamvir Singh, Jasjit Singh, Gurbaj SIngh and Chinglensana Singh make for the mid-line. The forward position will see SV Sunil, Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah and Mandeep Singh.
The team will be taking off for The Hague on May 21. India is placed in Pool “A” along with Australia, Belgium, England, Spain and Malaysia and will compete against Belgium in their first match, scheduled on May 31.