New Delhi: Star midfielder Sardar Singh will captain India at the Lanco International Super Series and 34th Champions Trophy as Hockey India (HI) on Monday announced the 18-man squad for the tour of Australia, which will not include penalty-corner expert Sandeep Singh and veteran striker Shivendra Singh on the touring party.
Sending a strong signal to the non-performers after the London Olympics debacle, the selectors made as many as seven changes to the squad that went to the Games in July-August, where India finished last in the 12-team competition.
After keeping goalkeeper Bharat Chhetri and Tushar Khandker out of the truncated probables list, Ignace Tirkey, Sandeep, Gurbaj Singh, Shivendra and Sarwanjit Singh were shown the door on Monday by HI Selectors Col. Balbir Singh, BP Govinda and Thoiba Singh as well as Government Observer Harbinder Singh and coach Michael Nobbs after the trials at NIS, Patiala.
Meanwhile, striker Yuvraj Singh returns to the squad after being sidelined from the Olympics due to injury. Goalkeeper PT Rao, defender Harbir Singh and forwards Nithin Thimmaiah and Akashdeep Singh are the new faces in the team.
India will take part in the International Super Series at Perth in Australia from November 22 to 25, 2012, where England, hosts Australia and Pakistan will be the other participating teams. India will open their campaign against England on November 22.
The International Super Series will be followed by the FIH Champions Trophy at the State Netball Hockey Centre in Melbourne from December 1 to 9. India have been placed in Pool A with England, Germany and New Zealand while the hosts Australia, Belgium, Netherlands and Pakistan are in Pool B. India play their first match against England on December 1.
Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, PT Rao
Full-backs: VR Raghunath, (Vice Captain), Rupinderpal Singh, Harbir Singh
Half-backs: Sardar Singh (Captain), Kothajit Singh, Birendra Lakra, Manpreet Singh, Gurmail Singh
Forwards: SV Sunil, Gurvinder Singh Chandi, Danish Mujtaba, SK Uthappa, Nithin Thimmaiah, Yuvraj Walmiki, Dharamvir Singh, Akashdeep Singh
Stand-byes: Srenivas Rao (goalkeeper), Amit Rohidas, MB Aiyappa, Chinglensana Singh, Pradhanna Sommanna, PL Thimmanna