On the night before the international friendly against Oman, India coach Stephen Constantine has named his final 23 players squad for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
Not making the final squad are goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya, defender Lalruarthara, midfielder Lallianzuala Chhangte besides forwards Manvir Singh and Farukh Choudhary.
Especially the omission of Chhangte comes as a surprise as he is seen as one of India’s brightest prospects.
Explaining his decision, India coach Constantine said, “It was very important to keep on the continuity. It’ll be silly of me to completely change the way we do things. Most of these boys are with us for some time now.”
“The other five boys (from the list of 28) will also stay with us until January 2, 2019. In case of an injury or anything else happens, these five boys will need to step up,” he added. “We are looking forward to the massive tournament. We hope these 23 boys will do a good job for us.”
India have been drawn in Group A to face Thailand (January 6), the hosts United Arab Emirates (January 10), and Bahrain (January 14).
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Bengaluru), Amrinder Singh (Mumbai City FC), Vishal Kaith (FC Pune City)
Pritam Kotal (Delhi Dynamos/ATK), Sarthak Golui (FC Pune City), Sandesh Jhingan (Kerala Blasters), Anas Edathodika (Kerala Blasters), Salam Ranjan Singh (East Bengal Club), Subhasish Bose (Mumbai City FC), Narayan Das (Delhi Dynamos)
Udanta Singh (Bengaluru FC), Rowllin Borges (NorthEast United FC), Anirudh Thapa (Chennaiyin FC), Vinit Rai (Delhi Dynamos), Halicharan Narzary (Kerala Blasters), Ashique Kuruniyan (FC Pune City), Germanpreet Singh (Chennaiyin FC), Jackichand Singh (FC Goa), Pronay Halder (ATK)
Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC), Jeje Lalpekhlua (Chennaiyin FC), Sumeet Passi (Jamshedpur FC), Balwant Singh (ATK)