India recall Danish, Gurwinder in CWG-bound squad
New Delhi: Experienced Danish Mujtaba and Gurwinder Singh Chandi were today recalled in Indian men`s hockey team`s 16-member squad for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow, Scotland.
Both Danish and Chandi, who were not part of the World Cup squad, will be making their comeback in the national team after recovering from injuries.
Danish, who was suffering from a knee injury since May last year, was part of the squad that went on a preparatory tour to The Hague, Netherlands just ahead of the World Cup but did not find a place in the main team for the quadrennial event, where India finished a lowly ninth.
Despite finishing a poor ninth at the World Cup, Hockey India continued to repose faith in Sardar Singh and retained him as captain of the Glasgow-bound squad.
P R Sreejesh, who is the lone goalkeeper in the 16-member squad, will also don the additional responsibility of vice-captaincy at the July 23-August 3 event.
Barring goalkeeper Harjot Singh, midfielders S K Uthappa, Jasjit Singh and forward Mandeep Singh, India have retained majority of the players that were part of the World Cup squad.
Ramandeep Singh and Nikkin Thimmaiah, who were part of the World Cup squad but had to return home before the start of the tournament after geting injured in practice games, have also been included in the Commonwealth Games team.
Sardar, Sreejesh, Danish, Chandi and Gurbaj Singh are the five players who featured in the last Commonwealth Games and were part of the side that was humiliated 0-8 by Australia in the final of the 2010 Delhi edition at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here.
Hockey India selectors - B P Govinda, Harbinder Singh, R P 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: P R Sreejesh (vice-capt)
Defenders: Gurbaj Singh, Birendra Lakra, Rupinder Pal Singh, Kothajit Singh, V R 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.