The All India Football Federation has announced the 35-man squad for the two friendlies against Oman and UAE, which will take place on March 25 and March 29 respectively. The national team head coach Igor Stimac has named six Hyderabad FC players in the squad.
A lot of new faces have been picked by Stimac for these matches, which will take place in Dubai. A final squad of 28 from these 35 players will be shortlisted after the final of the ongoing Hero Indian Super League, which will be played on March 13.
Players like Akash Mishra, Mohammed Yasir, Chinglensana Singh, Liston Colaco, and Hitesh Sharma, who impressed in the ongoing ISL season have been picked by the AIFF. Furthermore, FC Goa’s super-sub Ishan Pandita, and their goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh have also been selected.
NorthEast United FC’s Lalengmawia has also made the cut after his impressive performance for the club.
Stimac said: “It’s been a difficult year for all of us and finally, we are all getting together. It will be great to meet some new young guns and to check how bright our future is with them.”
“I know the season was a tough one and players might be overloaded but, we have enough time to refresh their legs and brains. However, many of them will have a break of two weeks without any organized training sessions prior to joining the camp. Hopefully, they will execute their individual working plans,” the Croat added.
On the other hand, Brandon Fernandes, Rahul Bheke, Sahal Abdul Samad, and Asish Rai will miss the matches due to their respective injuries.
The Indian national team was last seen in action when they played international matches against Afghanistan and Oman in November 2019 for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers.
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Subhashish Roy Chowdhury, Dheeraj Singh, Vishal Kaith
Defenders: Seriton Fernandes, Ashutosh Mehta, Akash Mishra, Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhingan, Chinglensana Singh, Sarthak Golui, Adil Khan, Mandar Rao Dessai, Prabir Das, Mashoor Shereef.
Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Rowllin Borges, Lalengmawia, Jeakson Singh, Raynier Fernandes, Anirudh Thapa, Bipin Singh, Mohammed Yasir, Suresh Wangjam, Liston Colaco, Halicharan Narzary, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Ashique Kuruniyan, Rahul KP, Hitesh Sharma, Farukh Choudhary
Forwards: Manvir Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Ishan Pandita.