Oltmans has sought to blood in youngsters without undermining the balance of the squad captained by custodian P.R. Sreejesh.
Bengaluru: Team India head coach Roelant Oltmans reiterated the importance of laying the foundations of a new Olympic cycle, as he named a mix of youth and experience in the 18-member squad selected for the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, set to take place in Malaysia from April 27 to May 6.
The team features seven of the 11 juniors who thrilled the nation en route to their Junior World Cup victory in December, with defender Gurinder Singh, midfielders Sumit and Manpreet and goalkeeper Suraj Karker set for debuts at the tournament viewed by Oltmans as an occasion to test new combinations.
“It’s always a good tournament at the beginning of the international year to test ourselves, especially two months before we have our first major tournament of the year (World Hockey League). It’s an exciting and challenging period for us,” the Dutchman said here on Tuesday.
Oltmans has sought to blood in youngsters without undermining the balance of the squad captained by custodian P.R. Sreejesh. Stalwarts like Sardar Singh, penalty corner specialist Rupinder Pal Singh and S.V. Sunil were also retained.
Squad: Goalkeepers P.R. Sreejesh (capt), Suraj Karkera; Defenders: Pardeep Mor, Surender Kumar, Rupinderpal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh; Midfielders: Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Sumit, Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh, Harjeet Singh, Manpreet; Forwards: S.V. Sunil, Talwinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Affan Yousuf, Akashdeep Singh.