Rupinder Pal Singh, SK Uthappa ruled out, but India confident ahead of HWL Semi Final

Rupinder Pal Singh will be replaced by defender Jasjit Singh Kular, who also doubles up as a penalty corner specialist. 

Published: 14th June 2017 08:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th June 2017 08:09 PM   |  A+A-

India ace drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh (Photo: Hockey India)


LONDON: High on confidence despite missing out on two experienced players on the eve of the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Final, India are expected to face an easy task when they take on minnows Scotland in their first match in Pool B here on Thursday.

Experienced defender Rupinder Pal Singh and midfielder S.K. Uthappa have been ruled out of the Indian squad, Hockey India (HI) announced on Wednesday.

Rupinder will be unavailable for the tournament due to a hamstring injury. The ace drag-flicker will be replaced by defender Jasjit Singh Kular, who also doubles up as a penalty corner specialist. 

Kular has played 46 matches in an Indian jersey with five international goals to his name. 

Uthappa, on the other hand, had to return home to attend to a family emergency. He will be replaced by Sumit Kumar.

Sumit made his debut for the senior India team at the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup earlier this year. He had a successful stint with the junior India team last year during which they won the Junior Men's World Cup.

The 20-year-old from Sonepat district of Haryana was part of the 33-member core group that trained at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Bengaluru prior to this tournament.

However, head coach Roelant Oltmans is confident that the replacements will live up to the challenge.

"With a strong core group who have been working together since February this year, we have several options and I don't see this as a setback for us at all," he said.

India are placed in an easier Pool B, with the Netherlands only team ranked higher. Other teams in the pool are Pakistan and Canada. The other pool comprises Olympic 2016 champions Argentina, England, South Korea, Malaysia and China.

"You always want to start well in the pool stage. Playing a tournament like the Hero Hockey World League Semi Final is always challenging with a number of strong teams in the competition. The pools are equally strong too but based on the ranking in our pool, we have to get a good start against Scotland," said Oltmans.

Oltmans also laid stress on a better goal conversion rate to ensure a successful outing. The lead up to the opening encounter saw the Indian team led by midfielder Manpreet Singh win the practice match against England 3-1 on Tuesday with a successful dragflick by Harmanpreet Singh and a double goal by striker Mandeep Singh. 

"To win this kind of tournaments, we have to get a higher percentage of goals out of our opportunities and concede less unnecessary goals. If we can manage this aspect of the game, then anything is possible to achieve for this team," he said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Sport news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp