Hockey India names 33 players for camp ahead of CWG, Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

Hockey India (HI) on Friday named 33 players for the national camp ahead of major international events, including the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and the Commonwealth Games.
The camps will start from February 11 at the Sports Authority of India (SAI), Bengaluru.
It is a crucial year for the Men’s Team with major events lined up, starting with the prestigious 27th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2018 from March 3-10, followed by the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games starting on April 4.
The Asian Games in August will be a litmus test where the team needs to defend their gold medal in order to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games and retain the status of being Asia No. 1. 
This year  will also see the team play against top nations at the FIH Champions Trophy in Breda, Netherlands and at the much-awaited Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 starting in November.
While the next two weeks for Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne will be about evaluating the team’s performance in New Zealand, he also needs to ensure his men are mentally fresh and ready to embrace the challenge of a gruelling 2018 calendar. 
“The next two weeks will not just be about evaluating our performance in New Zealand but also to implement the changes to improve really fast. We have a short time to ready the 18 players for Sultan Azlan Shah Cup but with a two-week break, I can expect the players to come back fresh and hungry for the ball,” said Marijne.
Emphasizing on the need to stay focused on improving their game, Marijne said, “I don’t want the team to be busy with the things we cannot control such as outside pressure of winning. I want them to  go match-by-match, tournament-by-tournament and embrace the challenge of playing big events.
"I need them to not just be physically at their 100 per cent but also mentally and for that we will work with players individually to ensure they are focused on their tasks and not be busy with the outcome. We will have individual and team sessions in our mental conditioning programme,” he said.
At the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, the team will play World No. 1 Australia, World No. 2 Argentina as well as England, who are grouped with India at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. 
“It will be another opportunity to gauge how close we are coming to the best teams in the world. We  will play World No.1 and World No. 2 in March which will be yet another chance to gain knowledge about their different playing styles," the coach added.
Core Group: 
Akash  Chikte, Suraj Karkera, P.R. Sreejesh, Krishan B Pathak
Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Dipsan Tirkey, Varun Kumar, Rupinderpal Singh, Birendra Lakra, Surender Kumar, Gurinder Singh, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Sardar Singh
Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh, S.K. Uthappa, Sumit Kothajit Singh, Satbir Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Simranjeet Singh, Harjeet Singh
S V Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Armaan Qureshi, Affan Yousuf, Talwinder Singh, Sumit Kumar
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