Rohidas axed, HI names 25-member core group

New Delhi: The Asian Games setback still fresh in his mind, Indian hockey team chief coach Harendra Singh said Wednesday he is determined to start afresh with intent make amends in the upcoming international assignments. India favourites to win the bronze, finished with the bronze medal.

“The bronze medal was a consolation and there is no excuse for not making it to the final of the Asian Games,” Harendra said. “There is no point looking back at the loss but now it’s critical for us to look ahead with a fresh, positive approach,” he added.

Hockey India (HI) named Wednesday a 25-member core group for a national camp in Bhubaneswar from September 16 as part of preparation for the Asian Champions Trophy and the World Cup. Odia defender Amit Rohidas who was a part of the Asian Games squad has been dropped.

“The idea of training in Bhubaneswar is to get acclimatised to the conditions. We are also looking at playing on the newly-laid turf at the Kalinga Stadium which will host the World Cup,” Harendra informed.

“This is a very important phase in the lead up to the season finale starting November 28 and we intend to critically analyse our mistakes during the Asian Games not just in our match against Malaysia but the other games too. The Asian Champions Trophy will be one tournament where we will be executing the changes made during this national camp,” he added.

Ace striker Ramandeep Singh, who underwent a knee surgery after sustaining an injury during the FIH Champions Trophy, and defender Birendra Lakra, will be undergoing rehabilitation, starting September 16.

The camp will end October 14 and the players will depart for the Asian Champions Trophy beginning October 18 in Muscat. India are the defending champions.

Core group

Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Suraj Karkera, Krishan Pathak;
Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Gurinder Singh, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Surender Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh, Pardeep Singh;
Midfielders: Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Sumit, Simranjit Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Vivek Sagar Prasad;
Forwards: SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh and Sumit Kumar.