Sardar Singh to captain India at Asian Champions Trophy

Senior players continue to miss the bus as defending champions India named an unchanged 18-member squad under Sardar Singh for the second Asian Champions Trophy to be held at Doha from December 20-27.

India, who defeated Pakistan 4-2 via penalty shootout en route to the title last year in Ordos, China, fielded the same team that is currently playing in the FIH Champions Trophy in Melbourne, where they will meet hosts Australia in the semifinals on Saturday.

VR Raghunath will continue to be Sardar's deputy in the team. Reuters

Full-back VR Raghunath will continue to be Sardar's deputy in the team, which does not feature the likes of ace drag-flicker Sandeep Singh, Shivendra Singh, Tushar Khandkar, former captain Bharat Chetri among others.

HI selectors decided against tinkering with the team after India's impressive outing in the ongoing Champions Trophy, an event where India last won a medal (bronze) in 1982.

Eight-time Olympic champions India had reached the last four stage of the Champions Trophy for the first time this year since 2004.

Sandeep and Shivendra, however, found out a place in the eight-man stand-bye list.

The 2012 edition of the Asian Champions Trophy will also feature China, Japan, Malaysia, Oman and Pakistan.

India will open its campaign against China on December 20 followed by matches against Japan (December 21), Oman (December 23), Pakistan (December 24) and Malaysia (December 26).

Squad:

Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, PT Rao Fullbacks: VR Raghunath (vice-captain), Rupinderpal Singh Harbir Singh

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

Forwards: S V Sunil, Gurvinder Singh Chandi, Danish Mujtaba, S K Uthappa, Nithin Thimmaiah, Yuvraj Walmiki, Dharamvir Singh, Akashdeep Singh

Standbys: Srenivas Rao (Goalkeeper), Sandeep Singh (Defender), Amit Rohidas (Defender), MB Aiyappa (Halfback), Shivendra Singh (Forward), Chinglensana Singh (Forward), Pradhanna Sommanna (Forward), PL Thimmanna (Forward).

PTI

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