Indian men's national team head coach Igor Stimac has announced 38 probables for the preparatory camp ahead of the International friendlies against Bahrain and Belarus next month. The fixtures are part of their preparation for the third round of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers in June, later this year.

The selected players will be landing in Pune on March 10, along with the head coach, and the practice will begin from the next day itself. The players representing their respective clubs in the semi-finals of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22, will join the camp after their commitments conclude.

The squad will be flying to Bahrain on March 21 for the assignment. The Blue Tigers will face the hosts on March 23, while they slated a face-off with Belarus on March 26. Both the matches are set to kick-off at 9.30 P.M (IST).


Throwing light on the upcoming games, Stimac is expecting the team to improve their game and instill more creativity into their game after an average campaign in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

“Playing against better teams is the best way to improve our own game. The two International friendlies are part of our preparations for the 3rd round of qualifiers, and we need to show some resilience and creativity,” he averred. “The two matches should enable our players to mature, and gain more experience against stronger sides. But for all of them it’s the start of the competition to gain that coveted place in the starting line-up for the June qualifiers,” stated Igor Stimac, as reported by the AIFF.

Igor Stimac has been thoroughly following the Hero ISL 2021-22 and lauded the efforts of the organisers for the smooth running in the midst of the pandemic situation. The coach has summoned eight fresh faces for the national squad - Prabhshukhan Gill, Mohammad Nawaz, Deepak Tangri, Roshan Singh, Vikram Partap Singh, VP Suhair, Aniket Jadav, and Jerry Mawihmingthanga.

“I have been watching every single game and admiring the boys for giving everything they have for their clubs,” Stimac expressed. “It’s been terrible for everyone involved since the pandemic started, but the job needs to be done. At the same time, we need to commend the super organisational capabilities of the two Leagues being held simultaneously under current circumstances – that too when footballing activities all over have stumbled a bit,” added the head coach.

India will be playing all of their 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers in Kolkata, from June 8 onwards. The Blue Tigers are clubbed with Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Cambodia in Group D of the event. 24 teams are divided into six groups and group toppers along with the five best second-placed teams will make the cut for the showpiece event.

The list of 38 probables is as follows:

GOALKEEPERS: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Dheeraj Singh, Prabhshukhan Gill, Mohammad Nawaz.

DEFENDERS: Pritam Kotal, Ashutosh Mehta, Seriton Fernandes, Ashish Rai, Rahul Bheke, Sandesh Jhingan, Deepak Tangri, Narender Gahlot, Chinglensana Singh, Subhashish Bose, Akash Mishra, Mandar Rao Dessai, Roshan Singh.

MIDFIELDERS: Udanta Singh, Vikram Partap Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Pronay Halder, Jeakson Singh, Glan Martins, Brandon Fernandes, VP Suhair, Lalengmawia, Sahal Abdul Samad, Yasir Mohammad, Ashique Kuruniyan, Aniket Jadav, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Bipin Singh, Jerry Mawihmingthanga.

FORWARDS: Manvir Singh, Liston Colaco, Sunil Chhetri, Rahim Ali.