[India], Jan 8 (ANI): Former skipper and star goalkeeper PR Sreejesh has returned to the 20-member India squad announced by the Hockey India on Monday for the Four Nations Invitational Tournament in New Zealand starting on January 17.
Sreejesh, missed some of the key tournaments in 2017 due to a knee injury, which he sustained in the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament last year.
The 29-year-old will be joined by young goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak who was member of the 2016 Junior World Cup winning team. At one time
The team will be led by 25-year-old midfielder Manpreet Singh while Chinglensana Singh Kangujam will shoulder the responsibility of vice captain.
New inclusions in the team are forward Dilpreet Singh and midfielder Vivek Sagar Prasad.
The duo was rewarded for their promising performance at the 7th Sultan of Johor Cup last year where the team returned home with the Bronze medal.
India will compete with Belgium, Japan and hosts New Zealand at Tauranga and Hamilton.
India's defence features Rupinder Pal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar - all three will double-up as dragflickers. They will be joined by Birendra Lakra, Surender Kumar and Gurinder Singh in the defense-line.
The midfield will see skipper Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Harjeet Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Satbir Singh along with debut players Simranjeet Singh and Vivek.
India's attack will see Ramandeep Singh return to the team with young gun Armaan Qureshi, Dilpreet Singh, Mandeep Singh and Lalit Upadhyay.
"The team continues to remain a good mix of young and experienced players. They will get to show their abilities against top quality teams. This is an important year for us with major tournaments in the pipeline and one of our focus areas is to perform consistently especially against higher ranked teams," expressed Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne.
He added, "We use this tour for our preparation for the Commonwealth Games and look at progressing to the next level after the previous two tournaments."
20-member Squad: PR Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak, Harmanpreet Singh, Surender Kumar, Gurinder Singh, Varun Kumar, Rupinderpal Singh, Birendra Lakra, Manpreet Singh (c), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (VC), Vivek Sagar Prasad, Harjeet Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Simranjeet Singh, Satbir Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Armaan Qureshi. (ANI)