Some key Mumbai City players have missed out on the squad owing to their AFC Champions League commitments.

Head Coach Igor Stimac announced the final India squad of 25 players who will be travelling to Bahrain for the forthcoming back-to-back international friendlies. The Blue Tigers are scheduled to play Bahrain on March 23, and Belarus on March 26, with both matches kicking-off at IST 9.30 pm.

For the record it’s the maiden call up for 7 players for their first assignment in the India squad – Prabhshukhan Gill, Hormipam Ruivah, Anwar Ali, Roshan Singh, VP Suhair, Danish Farooq, and Aniket Yadav.

“We are playing Bahrain and Belarus, and they are better-ranked sides than us. But whatever the rankings are, you need to do it on the pitch. Bahrain will show us where we stand. We will give chances to some young players who have played well in the Hero ISL this season to see how much we can use them for the qualifiers in June,” Head Coach Igor Stimac stated.

The international friendlies are a part of the preparations of the India squad for the final round of the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 qualifying matches which will be held in Kolkata from June 8 onwards. India have been clubbed in Group D along with Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Cambodia. 24 teams have been divided into six groups and the group winners, and the five best 2nd placed teams will earn a ticket to the Asian Cup in China.

The final list of 25 players in the India squad is as below:

GOALKEEPERS: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Prabhsukhan Gill.

DEFENDERS: Pritam Kotal, Seriton Fernandes, Rahul Bheke, Hormipam Ruivah, Sandesh Jhingan, Anwar Ali, Chinglensana Singh, Subhasish Bose, Akash Mishra, Roshan Singh.

MIDFIELDERS: Bipin Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Pronay Halder, Jeakson Singh, Brandon Fernandes, VP Suhair, Danish Farooq, Yasir Mohammad, Aniket Jadhav.

FORWARDS: Manvir Singh, Liston Colaco, Rahim Ali.

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