Liston Colaco (R) | PTI
New Delhi: India on Monday named seven newcomers in the 25-member squad for their international football friendlies against Bahrain and Belarus later this month.
Indian national men's team coach Igor Stimac has called up rookie players -- Prabhshukhan Gill, Hormipam Ruivah, Anwar Ali, Roshan Singh, VP Suhair, Danish Farooq, and Aniket Yadav in the side for the two ties to be played in Bahrain on March 23 and 26.
"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 Stimac said in an AIFF statement.
The international friendlies are a part of the team's preparation 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 side Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Cambodia.
The 24 teams have been divided into six groups and the group winners, and the five best second-placed sides will earn a ticket to the Asian Cup in China.
Final list of 25 players:
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. PTI