India squad arrives in Doha ahead of AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023

India squad arrives in Doha ahead of AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 By A Robin - December 31, 2023
India squad

India squad

Yesterday, head coach Igor Stimac unveiled the 26-member squad for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar, as the Blue Tigers landed in Doha to a warm reception from the expatriate community at Hamad International Airport.

Marking their fifth appearance at the Asian Cup, India is set to kick off their campaign in Group B with a match against Australia on January 13 at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan. Subsequently, they will face Uzbekistan on January 18 at the same venue before moving to the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor to play against Syria on January 23.

Despite fitness-related issues sidelining Jeakson Singh and Glan Martins, Sahal Abdul Samad secured a spot in the squad. Jeakson, recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in November, and Martins, injured recently, were among the initial 50 probables.

The squad, led by seasoned striker Sunil Chhetri, emphasizes teamwork and character. Stimac stated, "All these boys are very similar in terms of football quality. We are a team, a family. But no matter the talent, if there is no character, nothing can be achieved."

Addressing areas for improvement ahead of the tournament, Stimac highlighted defensive compactness, offensive transitions, and set pieces, particularly focusing on man-marking inside the box. He expressed concern about leaking unnecessary goals in recent games.

Facing formidable opponents in Australia, Uzbekistan, and Syria, Stimac emphasized a consistent approach. "All three of our opponents are very good technically, physically stronger with great speed. So, we are not going to have much difference in approach to all these three games," he stated. The coach also emphasized the importance of assessing the current fitness levels of players and striving for improvement in the next two weeks.

The Blue Tigers have familiarity with Qatar, having played four of their 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers matches there. Notably, Chhetri and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu were part of the Indian squad at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, also hosted in Qatar, where Chhetri scored goals against Bahrain and South Korea.


Goalkeepers: Amrinder Singh, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Vishal Kaith.

Midfielders: Anirudh Thapa, Brandon Fernandes, Deepak Tangri, Lalengmawia Ralte, Liston Colaco, Naorem Mahesh Singh, Sahal Abdul Samad, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Udanta Singh.

Defenders: Akash Mishra, Lalchungnunga, Mehtab Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Pritam Kotal, Rahul Bheke, Sandesh Jhingan, Subhasish Bose.

Forwards: Ishan Pandita, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Manvir Singh, Rahul Kannoly Praveen, Sunil Chhetri, Vikram Partap Singh.

By A Robin - December 31, 2023

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