Mumbai’s Yuvraj Walmiki made a comeback into the national hockey team even as the selectors decided to drop two senior players from the 18-member squad for the Hockey World League (HWL) Semifinal to be played in Antwerp, Belgium, from June 20 to July 5.
Ace drag-flicker Rupinderpal Singh and midfielder SK Uthappa were omitted from the squad for the key tournament along with young forwards Mandeep Singh and Satbir Singh. All the four players were part of last month’s Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia and the recently-concluded four-match test series against Japan.
Other than Walmiki, defenders Jasjit Singh Kular, Gurmail Singh and midfielder Lalit Upadhyay earned a place in the side.
Other than these four changes, the squad, led by Sardar Singh, is largely the same for the 10-nation tournament. India is placed in Pool A along with France, Poland, Pakistan and Australia whereas China, Ireland, Malaysia, Great Britain and Belgium are slotted in Pool B.
GOALKEEPERS: PR Sreejesh, Harjot Singh, DEFENDERS: Manpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh, VR Ragunath, Jasjit Singh Kular, Gurmail Singh, MIDFIELDERS: Gurbaj Singh, Dharamvir Singh, Sardar Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, FORWARDS: SV Sunil, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Yuvraj Walmiki, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh