India may have finished a poor ninth at the World Cup, but Hockey India continued to repose faith in Sardar Singh, retaining him as captain of the national men's team for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.
Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh will be the vice-captain of the 16-member squad at the July 23-August 3 event in Glasgow, announced HI on Thursday. Former trainees of Chandigarh Hockey Academy, Dharamvir Singh and Rupinder Pal Singh, have also found berths in the squad.
Hockey India selectors — BP Govinda, Harbinder Singh, RP Singh and Arjun Halappa along with Director High Performance Roelant Oltmans and chief coach Terry Walsh -- shortlisted the players on the basis of their performance during the selection trials conducted at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on June 30 June and July 1.
The preparatory camp is currently underway at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium and will continue until the team leaves for the CWG on July 12. India will play their opening match against Wales on July 25, followed by games against Scotland on July 26, Australia on July 29 and South Africa on July 31. In the Commonwealth Games 2010, the Indian men's hockey team had won the silver medal.
"The team is in good shape and ready to take on the challenges in the Commonwealth Games 2014. The entire team is showing strong signs of improvement and is dedicated towards overcoming the areas where they are lacking," said Walsh. Sardar said the team was working on the grey areas.
"The whole team is positive about the Commonwealth Games and motivated to perform well in all the matches. We are working on the loop holes by analysing the mistakes made in the matches during the World Cup through video sessions. The efforts have been amplified in order to give our best in the Commonwealth Games," said Sardar.
Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh (vice-capt).
Defenders: Gurbaj Singh, Birendra Lakra, Rupinder Pal Singh, Kothajit Singh, VR Raghunath.
Midfielders: Dharamvir Singh, Sardar Singh (capt), Danish Mujtaba, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Manpreet Singh.
Forwards: Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, S V Sunil, Gurwinder Singh Chandi, Nikkin Thimmaiah.