Guwahati, Oct 12 : Coach Igor Stimac on Saturday announced India’s 23-member squad for the forthcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifier against Bangladesh, to be played at the VYBK Stadium, Kolkata on Tuesday.
Barring Sandesh Jhingan, who suffered an injury in the friendly match against Northeast United FC, and an injured Anwar Ali (Jr), Halicharan Narzary, Farukh Choudhary and Nishu Kumar are released from the camp.
''Halicharan, Farukh and Nishu gave others a tough run for money and the decision was not an easy one. They came very close to their competitors. It was in fact a tough decision to take,'' caoch Stimac explained.
Taking about Jhingan's injury, Stimac said,''Sandesh is our Iron-man. He'll be missed in Kolkata but knowing him, I'm pretty sure, he'll come back much stronger."
According to Indian National Physio Gigy George, Sandesh has suffered on his left knee ACL tear and need to undergo surgery which usually takes 6 months for return to sport.
'He will be monitored constantly during the rehabilitation phase so that he comes back on the field sooner,'' George said.
Meanwhile, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who stood tall against Asian champions termed Sandesh’s absence as 'a big loss' for the Blue Tigers.
''It’s really sad. It's a big loss for us, especially at this moment. I could imagine how would he feel missing this game but he's a strong guy and he'll come back strongly soon,'' Sandhu said.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh team had a practice session in Kolkata in the morning, and experienced player Mamunul Islam dismissed theories that India will be handicapped by Sandesh’s absence.
However, Rahul Bheke has improved fast, and Stimac applauded the medical team for it. The Blue Tigers will be arriving in Kolkata on Sunday.
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Kamaljit Singh.
Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Rahul Bheke, Adil Khan, Narender, Sarthak Golui, Anas Edathodika, Mandar Rao Desai, Subhasish Bose.
Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Vinit Rai, Anirudh Thapa, Abdul Sahal, Raynier Fernandes, Brandon Fernandes, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Ashique Kuruniyan.
Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Balwant Singh, Manvir Singh.(UNI)