The much-awaited FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup will get underway in Bhubaneswar from 24 November 2021 to 5 December 2021. The host and the defending champions – India have announced the 18 player squad which will play for the title along with 15 more teams in the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup.
Tokyo medallist Prasad to captain team India
The recent success in hockey in the Tokyo Olympics has fueled the young athletes and among them was energetic Vivek Sagar Prasad. He will lead team India as the captain in the World cup and defender Sanjay Sunil Jojo has been given the duties of Vice-Captain.
Tokyo medallist Prasad’s career has been scintillating so far. In early 2018, Prasad was the second-youngest player to feature in the Indian senior team. In the same year, Prasad led the national team in the Youth Olympics, where India won a Silver medal.
In the senior team, Prasad had to face some hiccups but after some time he settled into the role of a center half. A position where the former and current Indian captains – Sardar Singh and Manpreet Singh – have excelled in. His role in the Tokyo Olympics was impactful in winning the bronze.
The Indian Squad for the world cup
Earlier, Hockey India named 24 players in the Core Probable group for the Junior World Cup. The 24 players reported to Chief Coach Graham Reid and Coach BJ Kariappa on 7 November for the preparatory camp and from there the final 18 were decided for the team.
In a press release by Hockey India, Chief Coach Men, Graham Reid said on the team selection, “To choose the best 18 players to represent their country is one of the hardest things to do in sport. Each of these guys has put their everything into trying to make this team for the last 12-18 months. Through COVID, through sanctions and lockdowns, huge sacrifices have been made. We have chosen a group of 20 players, a team of 18, and 2 alternate players who we believe give us the best chance of defending our title as Junior World Cup Champions. It is a well-balanced side with a lot of flexibility and flare. The key to these guys performing on the big stage will be to trust in each other and trust in their preparation.”
Boby Singh Dhami and Dinachandra Singh Moirangthem have been named as alternate players. They will play if there is an injury or someone in the 18-member squad is ruled out of the tournament due to covid-19.
India team fixture for the World Cup
The Indian team is placed in group B alongside 2024 Olympics hosts France, Canada, and Poland. Team India will begin their campaign on 24 November against France followed by an encounter with Canada on 25th November. India will face Poland on 27th November in their last round-robin match.
From 1st December to 5th December, the knockout matches will take place. The other teams in the fray include Belgium, Netherlands, Korea, Malaysia, Poland, Argentina, South Africa, Egypt, Pakistan, France, Chile, Germany, Canada, Spain, and the USA.