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Dilip Tirkey to lead

New Delhi: Dilip Tirkey was announced captain of the 16-member Indian hockey squad for the forthcoming Afro-Asian Games on Friday. However, Tirkey, who has a low haemoglobin count and often suffers from cramps, may be rested in the league game against Zimbabwe on October 25.

In that case, Gagan Ajit Singh will be made the stand-in captain. The two newcomers in the squad are midfielder Probodh Tirkey and defender Harpal Singh.

The players making a comeback are drag-flick expert and defensive midfielder Len Ayappa, playmaker Arjun Hallapa and goalkeeper Bharat Chettri.

Chief coach Rajinder Singh wants to use Ignace Tirkey as an attacking midfielder and assess Vikram Pillay in the right-half position.

the SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Devesh Chauhan, Bharat Chettri Defenders: Dilip Tirkey (capt.), Kanwalpreet Singh, Harpal Singh Midfielders: Bimal Lakra, Vikram Pillay, Probodh Tirkey, Ignace Tirkey, Len Ayappa, Viren Rasquinha

Forwards: Deepak Thakur, Prabhjot Singh, Sandeep Michael, Gagan Ajit Singh, Arjun Halappa Chief Coach: Rajinder Singh; Assistant coach: Baldev Singh; Goalkeeping coach: A.B. Subbiah Physiotherapist: K.S. Sampath Kumar

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