Down with ankle injury, Anwar Ali misses cut in Asian Cup probables

Indian football team player Anwar Ali
| Photo Credit: RITU RAJ KONWAR

India will be missing its key central defender Anwar Ali because of his ankle injury in the upcoming AFC Asian Cup in Qatar starting from January 12.

Owing to a fracture sustained on his right ankle, the 23-year-old central defender has been excluded from the 50-member India probables named on Thursday.

A key member of head coach Igor Stimac’s defence, Anwar’s injury will upset the Croat’s plans as he has taken a gamble to include midfielder Jeakson Singh in the probable.

The Kerala Blasters footballer too is down with an injury (shoulder) as it remains to be seen if he makes the final cut of 23 ahead of their Asian Cup opener against Australia on January 13.

In the absence of Anwar, the defence is expected to be helmed by Sandesh Jhingan, Pritam Kotal and Subhasish Bose.

Anwar’s Mohun Bagan teammate Ashique Kuruniyan, who is down with an ACL injury, has not been named in the probables on expected lines.

India, 102 in the FIFA rankings, is the lowest rung side in its Group B as Stimac’s task is cut out to make the Round of 16.

After taking the world No 25 Australia, the Stimac-coached Blue Tigers will face Uzbekistan (January 18), and Syria (January 23) The side will be pruned to 25 members before they head to Doha for the national camp beginning on December 30.

India Probables Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Vishal Kaith, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem and Gurmeet Singh Chahal.

Defenders: Naorem Roshan Singh, Bikash Yumnam, Lalchungnunga, Sandesh Jhingan, Nikhil Poojary, Chinglensana Singh, Pritam Kotal, Hormipam Ruivah, Subhasish Bose, Asish Rai, Akash Mishra, Mehtab Singh, Rahul Bheke, Narender Gahlot and Amey Ranawade.

Midfielders: Suresh Singh Wangjam, Rohit Kumar, Brandon Fernandes, Udanta Singh Kumam, Yasir Mohammad, Jeakson Singh Thounaojam, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad, Glan Martins, Liston Colaco, Deepak Tangri, Lalengmawia Ralte, Vinit Rai, Ninthoinganba Meetei and Naorem Mahesh Singh.

Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Rahim Ali, Farukh Choudhary, Nandhakumar Sekar, Siva Sakthi Narayanan, Rahul KP, Ishan Pandita, Manvir Singh, Kiyan Nassiri, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Gurkirat Singh, Vikram Partap Singh, Bipin Singh Thounaojam, Parthib Gogoi and Jerry Mawihmingthanga.

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