Injured Thimmaiah left out

Injured Thimmaiah left out

 Sardar Singh was expectedly named the captain while injured striker Nikkin Thimmaiah was left out of the 18-member Indian national squad for the Hockey World League Finals, in Raipur from November 27 to December 6.

Midfielder S K Uthappa also missed the bus due to an injury, making way for the return of Danish Mujtaba. Goalkeeper P R Sreejesh has been named vice-captain.

The 26-member preliminary squad, training here at the Sports Authority of India, Southern Centre was pruned to 18.

The team, under head coach Roelant Oltmans, will leave for Raipur on November 16 for a three-match test series against Australia, starting November 19.

Oltmans said the team was a balanced unit. “Despite missing out a few key players due to injury, such as Nikkin (Thimmaiah), we have a quality side for a major tournament like World League.

“We have roped in Talwinder Singh in place of Nikkin and I am very impressed with the youngster. Talwinder has shown more and more understanding towards the philosophy of the team. He is always working hard. Want to see him use his potential.”

Oltmans added that he is open to changes in the team in order to find the best combination for the Olympics next year. “Sometimes we want to see different players in different circumstances. We are making the changes to find the best combination for the Olympics.”   

In the absence of Uthappa, Oltmans felt players like Chinglensana Singh will play good support to seniors in the side and strengthen the midfield. “ He (Chinglensana) is a talented player. He brings in a lot of balance and his skills are improving,” said Oltmans.
The team: Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh (vice-captain), Harjot Singh.

Defenders: Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh, VR Raghunath, Jasjit Singh Kular, Rupinder Pal Singh.

Midfielders: Sardar Singh (captain), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Devinder Walmiki, Manpreet Singh, Dharamvir Singh, Danish Mujtaba.

Forwards: SV Sunil, Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, Talwinder Singh.  

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