Hockey World Cup 2018: Rupinder Pal Singh’s absence might damage India at showpiece occasion, says ex-captain Sardar Singh

Bhubaneshwar: When Indian group for the upcoming Hockey World Cup was introduced, among the many notable absentees was Rupinder Pal Singh. The strapping defender — who has been out and in of the group over the previous 12 months — final performed for Indian within the Asian Game in Jakarta the place his detached kind resulted in him getting the axe for the Asian Champions Trophy.

Nonetheless, regardless of his iffy run of late, not many believed that the 28-year-old can be ignored for an occasion of such magnitude, particularly contemplating the expertise and choices he comes with.

Sardar Singh, the recently-retired captain and one other casualty of India’s botched Asian Game bid, thinks Rupinder’s exclusion was avoidable and the group may miss his expertise in high-pressure matches.

“Expertise is the important thing in such tournaments. A participant of Rupinder Pal Singh’s calibre deserved an opportunity, as a result of finally, all of it boils downs to strain. And together with his expertise, Rupinder might have been an actual asset,” Sardar informed Firstpost.

“Skillwise additionally, Rupinder affords so much. He can provoke a fast turnover and might foil counter-attacks. He would have been an actual asset.”

Moreover his defensive duties, Rupinder has been a trusted drag-flicker for some time, and with 116 targets from 206 matches, his scoring credentials are fairly spectacular. In his absence, Harmanpreet Singh will shoulder the majority of short-corner duties. The 22-year outdated Punjab participant was India’s top-scorer on the Asian Champions Trophy with six targets, and has 51 worldwide targets from 88 outings. Varun Kumar and Amit Rohidas full India’s drag-flick assets.

“Completely, Rupinder does present a superb drag-flick choice, as he has each energy and precision. Harmanpreet, Varun, and Amit are all younger, and I’m certain they may meet the problem.

“The group is sort of younger, and never many gamers have huge match expertise. Sadly, SV Sunil and Ramandeep Singh are additionally not there resulting from accidents. A few of the present guys have performed no more than 15-20 worldwide matches, so sure, that could be a concern. However having mentioned that, I’m certain they might have deliberate and strategised towards every group. The coach and senior gamers can have an enormous function, and I’m assured they may do effectively,” the previous playmaker mentioned.

India’s defence will likely be manned by Harmanpreet, Birendra Lakra, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Surender Kumar, and Amit Rohidas. Sardar expressed satisfaction with the return of Lakra — he had missed the Asian Champions Trophy resulting from damage — and feels the Odisha participant can have an enormous function to play within the backline.

“I’m very pleased with the return of Birendra Lakra. He’s a hardworking defender and he can have lots of duty to shoulder,” he mentioned.

Hosts India will open their marketing campaign on 28 November towards South Africa.

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