Indian team will start their pro league campaign with two home matches at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubneshwar. India will play against The Netherlands on 18th and 19th January. Indian captain Manpreet Singh is taking it as preparation before Tokyo Olympics.
Indian team gave a miss to last year edition but decided to join after FIH invited to join due to withdrawal of Pakistan. The third ranked Dutch team will be hard to beat, but in hockey ranking doesn’t matter. Both team haven’t played against each other after quarterfinal clash in 2018 World Cup.
Team strategy and strength
Indian team is ranked fifth and gave some rousing performances in recent times. Indian team is one of the fittest team in the world currently. Indian defence has improved, also team is good at counterattack. Only weakness is big match temeprament, pro league games will feature top nine team and our team has a good chance before Tokyo for improve this.
Indian team need to convert PCs, so we have Harmanpreet singh along with Rupinder Pal Singh for that department. Coach Graham Reid was part of dutch camp before joining Indian team which will be an advantage. He will we looking that team plays fast hockey and take full advantage of every opportunity.
Indian team for the clash
Indian team was announced for the back to back fixture. Midfielder Chinglensana Singh returned after more than an year to the 20 member squad along with Sumit. Varun Kumar was not picked as he is not fully recovered yet. Here is full team
P.R. 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, S.V. Sunil, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Gursahibjit Singh, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam.