The famous FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 in Bhubaneswar-Rourkela is finally here, as Hockey India on Friday revealed the 18-member team that would represent India.
The newly constructed Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela will host the tournament’s opening day on January 13, 2023, with the Indian team competing alongside teams from England, Spain, and Wales in pool D.
A top drag flicker Amit Rohidas has been selected as the team’s vice-captain, and Harmanpreet Singh has been named the team’s captain.
The team, which was carefully chosen following 33 players’ two-day trials at the SAI Center in Bengaluru, has a solid balance of young and veteran players who will compete to end India’s wait to place first in the prestigious competition.
Goalkeepers Krishan B. Pathak and PR. Sreejesh, who will play in his third World Cup on home soil, has been selected, and the Indian team’s defence will be led by Captain Harmanpreet Singh, Vice Captain Amit Rohidas, Surender Kumar, Varun Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh, and Nilam Sanjeep Xess.
The young hockey phenom Vivek Sagar Prasad will be back in the middle of the field after missing the recent trip to Australia and the FIH Hockey Pro League due to an ankle injury. Manpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Shamsher Singh, and Akashdeep Singh, an expert, will also be joining him.
Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, and the teenagers Abhishek and Sukhjeet Singh, who made their debut earlier this year and are continuing to impress, will make up the forward line. Jugraj Singh and Rajkumar Pal have been selected as the two backup players.
On January 13 at Rourkela, India’s World Cup campaign will get underway against Spain, followed by a match against England in pool D. For their third pool encounter against Wales, they will travel to Bhubaneswar. Crossover games, quarterfinals, and semifinals will all take place on January 25 and 27, respectively, to kick off the knockout season. The final and bronze medal games will take place on January 29.