Injuries and prolonged absence from the camp have ruled out half of the Indian team, which won silver in the Commonwealth Games and bronze in the Guangzhou Asian Games, from the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia from May 5-15.
Of the 16-member medal-winning squad, eight players —Rajpal Singh, Tushar Khandekar, Bharat Chikara, Sarvanjeet Singh, Dharamvir Singh, Sandeep Singh, Sardara Singh, and Prabodh Tirkey —are not in the team.
“In the absence of some key players, it is an opportunity for the youngsters to prove their worth,” said Hockey India secretary-general Narinder Batra.
Rajpal has opted out because of abdominal injury, while Khandekar fractured his ankle during trials.
Chikara didn't report for the camp on the medical grounds, while Sarvanjeet Singh is on a rehabilitation programme. Dharamvir has taken permission to skip the camp because of his exams, while Sardara and Sandeep are playing in the Belgium League. Meanwhile, Arjuna Halappa has been named captain of the team.