India on Thursday named an unchanged side for the men's hockey competition at the upcoming Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea as the selectors reposed faith on the 16-member squad that won the silver medal in this year's Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Hockey India named the 16-member squad to be led by star midfielder Sardar Singh in the 17th Asian Games to be held from September 19 to October 4.
According to a statement from HI, the side was handpicked by selectors BP Govinda, Harbinder Singh, Dr RP Singh and Arjun Halappa along with High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans and chief coach Terry Walsh on the basis of the players' performance in the Commonwealth Games, Bangladesh tour and selection trials conducted at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here on August 11.
PR Sreejesh is the lone goalkeeper in the side and will also don the additional responsibility of vice-captain.
The squad has five defenders Gurbaj Singh, Birendra Lakra, Rupinder Pal Singh, Kothajit Singh and V R Raghunath.
While Sardar will man the midfield along with Dharamvir Singh, Danish Mujtaba, Chinglensana Singh and Manpreet Singh, the attacking line will feature Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, S V Sunil, Gurwinder Singh Chandi and Nikkin Thimmaiah.
Last edition's bronze medallist in Guangzhou, India will play their first match in the Asian Games against Sri Lanka on September 21, followed by clashes against Oman on September 23, arch-rivals Pakistan on September 25 and China on September 27.
The team is scheduled to depart for South Korea on September 12.
Speaking on the team's current form, chief coach Terry Walsh said: "The whole team is fit and all are charged up for the challenge. The Commonwealth Games' outing with silver medal finish has really motivated the team and they are ready to deliver even better results in the upcoming Asian Games."
"There are good teams in our pool alongwith the 2010 Asian Games' gold medallists Pakistan. We will be playing our first match against Sri Lanka and are looking at a positive start to the tournament. The focus of the team will be on one match at a time and will be progressing step-by-step for a clean sweep in the pool matches," he added.
Goalkeepers: P R Sreejesh (vice-captain)
Defenders: Gurbaj Singh, Birendra Lakra, Rupinder Pal Singh, Kothajit Singh, V R Raghunath
Midfielders: Dharamvir Singh, Sardar Singh (captain), Danish Mujtaba, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Manpreet Singh
Forwards: Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, S V Sunil, Gurwinder Singh Chandi, Nikkin Thimmaiah.