Ace hockey player, Sardar Singh, who was axed from the team, was back in the squad and that too as the captain. He will mark his return at the 27th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup starting from 3rd March 2018 at Ipoh in Malaysia. The tournament will feature World No.1 Australia, World No.2 Argentina, England, Ireland and hosts Malaysia India ranked No 6. Ramandeep Singh has been named the vice-captain of the team. Mandeep Mor, Sumit Kumar and Shilanand Lakra are the three debutantes featuring in the team. All three were part of the India Colts team that won Bronze Medal at the Sultan of Johor Cup last year.
Sardar Singh has been in and out of the team since being dropped in July 2017. The team management wanted to test the reserve bench for a busy 2018 calendar. But Sardar’s experience led to his comeback as he also expressed his desire to play the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. “Sardar is one of the leaders in the core group and in Manpreet Singh’s absence, he has been chosen for the job. He is an experienced player and having missed two tournaments previously, this is an opportunity for him to show his skills,” said Indian coach Sjoerd Marijne.