Sports Desk: The second class hockey team of India will be defending their championship in Jakarta on Monday in the Asia Cup Hockey 2022. The team will be facing arch-rival Pakistan in the first match. The Pakistan team will be bringing in some fresh faces in the tournament, while Team India will represent their ‘A’ team led by veteran Birender Lakra.
The Asia Cup will provide India with a platform to test its ‘bench strength’ ahead of a busy season that includes the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and next year’s FIH World Cup, for which the bronze medalist team from the Tokyo Olympics has already taken over as the host nation. have qualified.
On the other hand, Pakistan is trying to qualify for the 2023 World Cup to be held in Bhubaneswar from this tournament. Top-3 teams from Asia Cup will directly qualify for this tournament to be held in January. Both India and Pakistan have won the Asia Cup three times each. India won the last season in 2017 and defeated Malaysia in the final held in Dhaka.
Rupinder Pal Singh out of action due to injury
The former captain of the team Sardar Singh is the coach for the 20-member team of India. The team was earlier to be led by Tokyo medalist Rupinder Pal Singh, who was ruled out due to an injury in his wrist. The Indian team includes another veteran SV Sunil, who also made a comeback from retirement . Sunil could not make it to the Tokyo Olympic team due to injury, he will be the vice-captain this time.
A total of 10 junior players will debut in Team India
There are a total of 10 players in the Indian team, who will debut in the senior Indian team. These includes Yashdeep Siwach, Abhishek Lakra, Manjeet, Vishnukant Singh and Uttam Singh, all of them were part of the Junior World Cup. Also, new players like Mariswaraen Saktivel, Seshe Gowda BM, Pawan Rajbhar, Abharan Sudev and S Karti have been included in the team.