Coach of the Indian men’s national football team, Stephen Constantine has named his 22 player-squad for the upcoming friendly against China. The selected and a few extras have been training in Delhi and will leave for the host city of Suzhou on October 10. India will look to make the most out of this opportunity to take learning strides and prepare for the AFC Asian Cup 2019.
India will miss services of striker Balwant Singh as the player was denied a visa since his passport is due to expire within 6 months. The squad consists of a mix of experienced seniors and a handful of U-23s who also featured in the recent SAFF Championship, where India lost to Maldives in the final.
There are a few omissions to raise the eyebrows, something that Constantine never misses to pull out of his hat. Top performers in the SAFF Championship, Manvir Singh and Lallianzuala Chhangte are missing from his squad.
India’s 22 member Squad:
GOALKEEPERS: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Karanjit Singh
DEFENDERS: Pritam Kotal, Sarthak Golui, Sandesh Jhingan, Anas Edathodika, Salam Ranjan Singh, Subhasish Bose, Narayan Das
MIDFIELDERS: Udanta Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Pronay Halder, Rowllin Borges, Anirudh Thapa, Vinit Rai, Halicharan Narzary, Ashique Kuruniyan
FORWARDS: Sunil Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sumeet Passi, Farukh Choudhary
Despite usual criticism over selection of players, Constantine has emphasized on inclusion of young talent and is eager to give them a chance in the national team. In a press conference, the Indian manager said he’d go all out for a win and would like to give the youngsters some playing time in the national colours. East Bengal’s center back Salam Ranjan Singh is the only player from the I-League.
This will be the first time in history that India will travel to China for an official International friendly. Overall, China has never lost a match to India. Out of the 14 played between the two, the latest being way back in 1997, China have won 8 and 6 matches have drawn.
CHINA v INDIA – 13 October 2018 – K.O. 5:05 PM – Live on Star Sports