Sardar Singh will lead the Indian hockey team in the Champions Trophy, while seasoned players Sandeep Singh and Shivendra Singh did not gain selection, in the 18-member squad announced by Hockey India.

Penalty corner specialist V.R. Raghunath was named as the vice-captain of the team, which will first compete in the International Super Series in Perth from November 22 to 25, followed by the Champions Trophy in Melbourne from December 1 to 9.

A few experienced players — goalkeeper Bharat Chhetri, Tushar Khandkar, Ignace Tirkey and Gurbaj Singh — did not find a place in the shortened list of 33 earlier when the list of probables was pruned from 48.

India will play England on November 22, Australia on 23 and Pakistan on 24. In the Champions Trophy, India will figure in group ‘A’ with Germany, England and New Zealand, with its matches scheduled for Dec. 1, 2 and 4 respectively.

The squad: Sardar Singh (capt.), V.R. Raghunath (vice-capt.), P.R. Sreejith, P.T. Rao, Rupinderpal Singh, Harbir Singh, Sardar Singh (captain), Kothajit Singh, Birendra Lakra, Manpreet Singh, Gurmail Singh, S. V. Sunil, Gurvinder Singh Chandi, Danish Mujtaba, S. K. Uthappa, Nithin Thimmaiah, Yuvraj Walmiki, Dharamvir Singh, and Akashdeep Singh. Stand-bys: Sreenivas Rao, Amit Rohidas, M. B. Aiyappa, Chinglensana Singh, Pradhanna Sommanna and P. L. Thimmanna.

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