Pro League 2020: India recall Kothajit, Chinglensana for Netherlands games
Chinglensana was injured in the national championship (A Division) in February 2019 where he led Railways to victory. An ankle fracture in the final put him out of action for almost a year.Updated: Jan 13, 2020 19:57 IST
Laying emphasis on experience, Hockey India (HI) selectors recalled Chinglensana Singh Kangujam and Kothajit Singh Khadangbam to the India team in a 20-member squad named to face world No.3 Netherlands in the opener of the FIH Pro League 2020. Also returning to the squad are Sumit, Gurjant Singh and Gursahibjit Singh. However, seasoned forward Ramandeep Singh has been left out for the two bilateral matches, to be held in Bhubaneswar on January 18 and 19, along with the injured Varun Kumar, Hardik Singh and Simranjit Singh.
Chinglensana was injured in the national championship (A Division) in February 2019 where he led Railways to victory. An ankle fracture in the final put him out of action for almost a year. Kothajit was part of the Belgium tour in September-October but was dropped for the Olympic Qualifiers in November. Sumit, 23, too will make his comeback after suffering a wrist injury last June during the FIH Series Finals where India beat South Africa in the final.
“We have chosen a relatively experienced team to take on Netherlands,” India chief coach Graham Reid said. “Varun will be back in training this week after suffering a nerve injury during the Olympic qualifiers, (but) he wasn’t able to be considered for selection.
“We will however get a chance to see Chinglensana return to international competition after a full year out and Sumit returns after a six-month hand injury. Both have been training well and are physically fit. (Striker) Gurjant has also shown great form in training and has earned his spot back,” the Australian said.
Manpreet Singh will lead the side. India will make their debut in the elite nine-team tournament to be played from January to June. India didn’t participate in the inaugural edition last year.
India last met the Dutch in the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar, losing in the quarter-finals.
“It will be important to start strong and sharp in the Pro League with our first three encounters against the top three teams in the world. We will be focussing on getting our structures right and honing our set plays as preparation for our Olympic campaign,” added the Australian.
After Netherlands, India will face world champions Belgium (Feb 8-9) and world No.1 Australia (Feb 21-22) in Bhubaneswar.
Squad: PR Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak, Harmanpreet Singh (vice-captain), Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas, Surender Kumar, Birendra Lakra, Rupinder Pal Singh, Manpreet Singh (captain), Vivek Sagar Prasad, Chinglensana Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Sumit, Gurjant Singh, SV Sunil, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Gursahibjit Singh, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam.