Bhubaneswar: Centre back Sandesh Jhingan and striker Jeje Lalpekhlua are back in the national setup as they have been called up for an 18-day national camp ahead of India's 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Qatar in Bhubaneswar on March 26.
Twenty-three players have been called up in the first phase of the training camp in Bhubaneswar on March 9 before 20 other players from four Indian Super League semi-finalist teams join the camp on March 16.
"Time is very crucial for us. We have planned to utilise the maximum time possible, so we want to see as many players as possible before the Qatar match. As some players won't be able to join the camp because of their club commitments before the March 16, we'll use this time to assess the other players," India's head coach Igor Stimac said.
"Sandesh (Jhingan) and Jeje (Lalpekhlua) have been longstanding servers of Indian national team and I strongly believe in their abilities. I have been updated about their current medical status and we'll monitor them closely in Bhubaneswar too," Stimac said, adding: "Amarjit Singh is also someone who can be very influential on the pitch. We want to see him as well along with others."
Jeakson Singh, who earned his maiden call-up to the senior squad, said, "It's a dream come true for me to get a call-up from the senior national camp. I want to prove myself. Sharing the dressing room with ones who I've always looked up to is going to be a remarkable experience for me."
Here's a list of the 23 players who have been called up for the camp on March 9:
Goalkeepers: Amrinder Singh, Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, Md. Rafique Ali Sardar.
Defenders: Pratik Prabhakar Chowdhary, Shubham Sarangi, Subhasish Bose, Narender, Adil Khan, Sandesh Jhingan.
Midfielders: Rowllin Borges, Amarjit Singh, Jeakson Singh, Nandhakumar Sekar, Lalengmawia, Vinit Rai, Raynier Fernandes, Nikhil Poojary, Mawihmingthanga, Halicharan Narzary, Sahal Abdul Samad.
Forwards: Farukh Choudhary, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Liston Colaco.
Twenty others who will join on March 16 are:
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Vishal Kaith, Prabhsukhan Gill.
Defenders: Prabir Das, Rahul Bheke, Pritam Kotal, Nishu Kumar, Sumit Rathi, Seriton Fernandes, Mandar Rao Dessai.
Midfielders: Edwin Sydney Vanspaul, Brandon Fernandes, Anirudh Thapa, Udanta Singh, Ashique Kuruniyan, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Jackichand Singh.
Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Manvir Singh, Michael Soosairaj.