Manpreet, Sreejesh rested; Sunil returns

Manpreet, Sreejesh rested; Sunil returns

SV Sunil

Hockey India has rested a few men's senior players for the Olympic Test event scheduled from August 17-21 in Japan.

Captain Manpreet Singh, senior goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and Surender Kumar have been given a break, which chief coach Graham Reid believes will help them shake off any niggling injuries ahead of the Olympic qualifying matches in November.

In their absence, the 18-member squad features Harmanpreet Singh and Mandeep Singh as the captain and vice-captain respectively. Two players -- Ashis Topno and Shamsher Singh -- have earned their debut spots in the national team. Meanwhile, experienced striker SV Sunil has returned to the national team after a gap of nine months.

"We are resting some senior players, some of whom have had a very rigorous last 12 months of hockey. We will give them a chance to shake off any niggling injuries and get fresh for the next three months of preparation for the November qualifying matches," said Reid.

Reid said the Olympic Test Event would give a few players a chance to show their mettle at the international stage. "With no world ranking points at risk, the Tokyo test event gives us an ideal opportunity to not only get a first hand look at how Tokyo is shaping up for next year’s Olympics, we will also see some players who have not had a chance to show us what they can do on the international stage," said Reid.

The squad: Harmanpreet Singh (captain), Krishan Bahadur Pathak, Gurinder Singh, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Hardik Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Jaskaran Singh, Mandeep Singh (vice-captain), Gursahibjit Singh, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Jarmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Ashis Topno, SV Sunil, Gurjant Singh, Shamsher Singh, Suraj Karkera.