Sardar, Lakra return to side for CT

Sardar Singh has been recalled in the Indian team for the Champions Trophy, beginning on June 23 in Breda, The Netherlands. DH FILE PHOTO

Seasoned midfielder Sardar Singh made a comeback to the Indian team for the Rabobank men’s Champions Trophy, Breda 2018, at The Netherlands starting June 23.

Experienced defender Birendra Lakra and forward Ramandeep Singh are also coming back to the side. The 18-member team will be led by goalkeeper PR Sreejesh who had captained India to a historic silver in the previous edition.

“I think that was the closest we came to winning the Gold and most importantly beating Australia. Though we had to settle for a second place, it was a memorable tournament. This time too, we want to make it a memorable one as it’s the last edition of the prestigious event,” stated Sreejesh. 

Sreejesh will be joined by youngster Krishan Pathak as goalkeeper. In the defence, Lakra will have the company of drag-flickers Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar and Amit Rohidas along with Surender Kumar and debut player Jarmanpreet Singh who earned his place in the Core Group after an impressive domestic season. 

India’s midfield will be formed by Sardar, Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam and the talented Vivek Sagar Prasad. The forward line will feature SV Sunil, Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, young Dilpreet Singh and Sumit Kumar (Jr).

"The team is a good mix of youth and experienced players. The Champions Trophy is an extremely important tournament for the players to showcase their firepower as the team for the forthcoming Asian Games in Jakarta will be picked on the basis performance at the recently-concluded Commonwealth Games and the Champions Trophy,” said chief coach Harendra Singh.

India’s aim will be to finish on the podium to set the momentum ahead of major International events such as the Asian Games in August and the much-awaited World Cup at home in Bhubaneswar in November.

“While this team will be put to test against another Asian powerhouse Pakistan who we will face in the Asian Games, Champions Trophy will provide ideal platform to see where we stand against higher ranked teams like Australia, Belgium, The Netherlands and Argentina in the lead up to the World Cup,” Singh added. 

India will begin their campaign at the Champions Trophy against Pakistan on June 23.

Team: Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh (captain), Krishan Bahadur Pathak. Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Surender Kumar Jarmanpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, Amit Rohidas. Midfielders:Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (vice-captain) Sardar Singh Vivek Sagar Prasad. Forwards: Sunil Sowmarpet Vitalacharya, Ramandeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Sumit Kumar (Jr.), Akashdeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh.

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Sardar, Lakra return to side for CT

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