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Shivendra and Sandeep back

Sandeep Singh

New Delhi: Striker Shivendra Singh, who was dropped from the Indian team for his below par showings in the London Olympics, has returned to the national team for World Hockey League (WHL) round three to be played in Rotterdam in the Netherlands from June 13.

Another player who fared poorly in the London Olympics — drag-flicker Sandeep Singh who, too, was axed from the WHL round two squad, has been recalled along with Birendra Lakra. Sardar Singh will captain the team and defender VR Raghunath will be his deputy.

Hockey India (HI) sources said that Shivendra and Lakra have been included in places of Gurwinder Chandi and Danish Mujtaba, who are nursing injuries. While Chandi is yet to recover from a left ankle injury, Mujtaba is suffering from right knee joint problem.

HI selectors Balbir Singh and BP Govinda along with government observer Harbinder Singh, director of high performance, Roelant Oltmans and chief coach Michael Nobbs selected the team.

India’s opening match is against Ireland on June 13. Hosts Netherlands and New Zealand are the other teams in India’s group. The WHL is a qualification tournament for the 2014 World Cup to be held in the Netherlands.

The squad

Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh and PT Rao

Defenders: VR Raghunath, Sandeep Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh and Harbir Singh Sandhu

Midfielders: Birendra Lakra, Sardar Singh (captain), Manpreet Singh, Kothajit Singh and Gurmail Singh

Forwards: SV Sunil, Shivendra Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Nitin Thimmaiah, Dharamvir Singh, Akashdeep Singh and Mandeep Singh