New Delhi: Despite his goal-scoring spree in the ongoing Hockey India League, ace drag-flicker Sandeep Singh continues to remain on the sidelines as India made four changes in their squad for the Hero Hockey World League Round 2 to be held here from February 18 to 24.
Sandeep, who is the highest goal-scorer in the HIL so far with 11 goals, failed to earn a place in the 18-member Indian team to be captained by inspirational Sardar Singh in the upcoming tournament to be held at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium here.
Sandeep, instead, has been picked as one of the six stand-by players by Hockey India selector Syed Ali, chief coach Michael Nobbs and Government observer Harbinder Singh, who selected team on the basis of their recent performance in HIL, according to a HI statement.
Riding on their impressive showing in the ongoing HIL, Gurjinder Singh, Malik Singh, Mandeep Singh and Chinglensana Singh Kangujam have been drafted into the squad for the Hockey World League Round 2, which is a part of the qualification process for the FIH Men's Hockey World Cup 2014 to be held in The Hague, Netherlands.
Apart from hosts India (FIH World Ranking 11), the other teams participating in the men's competition are Ireland (15), China (18), Oman (36), Bangladesh (40) and Fiji (71). The Indian men's team will open their campaign against Fiji on February 18 followed by matches against Oman (Feb 20), Ireland (Feb 21), China (Feb 23) and Bangladesh (Feb 24).
The Squad: Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, PT Rao. Fullbacks: V R Raghunath (vice-captain), Rupinderpal Singh, Harbir Singh. Halfbacks: Birendra Lakra, Manpreet Singh, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Sardar Singh (captain), Gurjinder Singh.
Forwards: Danish Mujtaba, Nithin Thimmaiah, Mandeep Singh, Malik Singh, S V Sunil, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Dharamvir Singh, Gurvinder Singh Chandi.
Stand-byes: Sushant Tirkey (Goal-keeper), Sandeep Singh (Fullback), MB Aiyappa (Halfback), Gurmail Singh (Halfback), Akashdeep Singh (Forward), Imran Khan (Forward). Schedule: India vs Fiji on Monday (February 18); India vs Oman on Wednesday (Ferbruary 20); India vs Ireland on Thursday (February 21); India vs China on Saturday (February 23); India vs Bangladesh (February 24).