The Indian men’s hockey team are going through a great period right now. They created history at the Tokyo Olympics by bagging a medal after 41 years when they clinched the bronze. The squad is a great mix of experienced senior players and some exciting junior players as well.
Today, we are going to talk about the latter. Some of them have made their appearances in the senior squad already, while others are still waiting in line for their turn. Here are the five most promising hockey players to keep an eye on in the future.
5. Prashant Kumar Chauhan
Prashant Kumar Chauhan has made a name for himself in a short period of time. The 21-year-old has been part of India’s junior team and caught the eye with his quality performances. He was part of the silver medal-winning teams at the Youth Olympic Games in 2018 and the Sultan of Johor Cup in 2019.
The youngster who looks up to India goalkeeper PR Sreejesh as his idol also has his plans ready for the future. Chauhan says that he hopes he can be the senior Indian team’s first-choice goalkeeper one day. Moreover, he also plans to have an elongated career on the senior circuit. Prashant dreams of contributing for India at mega tournaments like the Olympics and the World Cup. Infact, Sreejesh has picked him as one of the best young Indian men’s hockey players in India.
4. Sudeep Chirmako
Sudeep Chirmako is one of the most promising young Indian men’s hockey players. The forward has already put up a sublime display at last year’s FIH Junior World Cup. He scored four goals overall and aided his side convincingly.
Moreover, two of the four goals scored were at the knockout stages, that included the quarter-final and semi-final. Unfortunately, for the 19 year old, both the games did not go India’s way. In spite of the setback, Sudeep’s ipressive talent was never in question. His silver medal at the Youth Summer Olympics in Buenos Aires is another example of that. Sudeep was the top scorer at that tournament, with 11 goals.
3. Shardanand Tiwary
Shardanand Tiwary was a revelation at the FIH Junior World Cup in 2021. The 19-year-old defender dazzled with his performances in Bhubaneswar and scored four goals.
One of his goals was in the quarter-final that helped India. Shardanand’s goal, converted off a brilliantly crafted penalty-corner was like poetry in motion. It bamboozled the defence completely, leaving the Belgian goalkeeper with absolutely no chance. His main aim now is to win another hockey medal for the country at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
2. Araijeet Singh Hundal
Born on 21st January 2004, Hundal is a sensation in the attacking line. He has already won many CBSE National and city-level hockey tournaments. In addition, he remained the best player at the All-India Nehru Hockey Tournament during his presence at Spring Dale Senior school from 2013 to 2017.
However, Araijeet’s most notable success was his individual performance at the 2021 FIH Junior World Cup. He scored five goals in the tournament.
1. Sanjay Kumar
Sanjay Kumar was the vice-captain of India at the FIH Junior World Cup. The central midfielder is a already regarded as one of the best young Indian men’s hockey players. His eight goals at the FIH Junior World Cup showed his ability to cut it with the best.
The drag-flick specialist is already touted to be the next Rupinder Pal Singh. Moreover, his ability to take perfect penalty-corners will be an added asset to the senior squad. Sanjay and Harmanpreet Singh could create havoc in the opposition defence. It will also give coach Graham Reid a lot of options and strategies to work with.