Hockey

Jasjit new face in World Cup squad

Uncapped midfielder Jasjit Singh was the new face in the 18-member squad announced by Hockey India (HI) for the World Cup to be held at the Hague in the Netherlands from May 31 to June 15.

The National selectors excluded five players from the 21-member squad that participated in the European tour last month and included 24-year-old Jasjit and young striker Mandeep Singh.

Jalandhar boy Jasjit, who started playing hockey only at the college level, had taken part in the World Series Hockey and got noticed with his performance for Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the Hockey India League.

“I got a call for the National camp after my performance in the HIL. Since I started late, I did not get the chance to play in any age group tournament,” said the Railways player.

Yuvraj Walmiki, Danish Mujtaba, Lalit Upadhyay, Gurinder Singh and Devindar Walmiki were the players left out from the squad that toured Europe.

Chief coach Terry Walsh said the team had to be realistic in its campaign in the Hague.

“A top-eight finish would be ideal. But a top-six or top-four finish is possible,” said Walsh.

“The team is a lot better than what it was in the World League Final (earlier this year). I am impressed with the quality the players have brought in terms of commitment and performance.”

Walsh said it was unfair to compare the 1975 World Cup-winning Indian squad and the present team.

“I was sitting in the stands with the Australian team (in the final in Kuala Lumpur)... For us, India and Pakistan were the gods of hockey.

“The ground was wet and it was played with a leather ball. But, if we compare this team with that of 1975, then it is like racing an F1 car of 20 years (back) today.”

“Today the World Cup is far more fierce than what it was 12 years ago,” added Walsh.

The team will leave for the Netherlands on May 23.

The squad:

Goalkeepers: P.R. Sreejesh, Harjot Singh.

Defenders: Gurbaj Singh, Rupinderpal Singh (vice-captain), V.R. Raghunath, Birendra Lakra, Kh. Kothajit Singh, Manpreet Singh.

Midfielders: Sardar Singh (captain), S.K. Uthappa, Dharamvir Singh, Jasjit Singh, Chinglensana Singh;

Forwards: S.V. Sunil, Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Mandeep Singh.

Standbys: Gurpreet Singh (goalkeeper), Vikram Kanth, Gurinder Singh (defenders), Danish Mujtaba, Devindar Walmiki (midfielders), Lalit Upadhyay, and Yuvraj Walmiki (forwards).

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2020 7:36:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/jasjit-new-face-in-world-cup-squad/article6009590.ece

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