Indian spikers led by Haryana`s Amit Gulia will kick off their campaign in the Asian Men`s U-23 Volleyball Championship against China in Myanmar on Saturday.
The tournament is an international volleyball competition in the Asia and Oceania region that is contested by 16 member nations of the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC). This is the third edition of the tournament which was held for the first time in 2015.
Iran, champions in 2015 and 2017, will not take part in this edition. The nine-day event will culminate on August 11. All the matches will be held in the capital city of Nay Pyi Taw.
The 16 teams have been divided into four groups. India have been placed in Group D alongside China, Thailand and New Zealand. After their match against China on the opening day, India will face New Zealand on August 4 and Thailand on August 5.
Coached by the experienced Pritam Singh Chauhan, the India squad consists of Chirag, Gagan Kumar and Shon T. John in the attacker`s position along with skipper Amit Gulia. Shikhar Singh and Sonu Kumar Jakhar will be handling the blocker`s duties for the team.
Muthusamy and Saqlain Tariq are the two setters in the squad, while Hari Prasad is the sole libero in the team. The two universals in the squad are Ashwin Raj and Himanshu Tyagi. Ten out of the 12 players were part of the inaugural edition of Pro Volleyball League held earlier this year.
This is India`s second appearance in the tournament. In 2015, India failed to reach the quarterfinals despite defeating Philippines and Qatar in the group stages.