Bhubaneswar: Amit Rohidas was retained as captain, while Odia defender Neelam Sanjeep Xess made a comeback in India’s 22-member squad for the upcoming FIH Pro League double-header against England to be played at the Kalinga Stadium here this weekend. Neelam was part of India’s team in the Asian Champions Trophy in December last year at Dhaka where they finished third with a 4-3 win over Pakistan. The 23-year-old comes in at the expense of Varun Kumar in the only change to the squad announced Wednesday by Hockey India. The Amit Rohidas-led side recently lost 2-2 (1-3 shootout) and won 4-3 against Argentina.
“It has been quite exciting to see how some of the younger players are grabbing the opportunity to play in the Pro League. They have been showing great potential,” chief coach Graham Reid said in the same release.
“It is good for us to have these options. We have been using this platform to try out different combinations. England have a talented squad and no doubt the matches this weekend will be quite exciting,” Reid added.
India (16 points) are placed second behind Germany (17) after eight matches in this season of Pro League.
The Indian team has beaten South Africa at home (10-2, 10-2) while they won a game and lost a game against France (5-0, 2-5) which was also held in South Africa.
At home, they won a game and lost one to Spain (5-4, 3-5) and Argentina.