Indian national senior men's team head coach Stephen Constantine announced a 24-man squad for their sixth and final Group A game of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup third round qualifying stage against the Kyrgyz Republic.
Team India have secured passage to Asia's showpiece event already after they defeated Macau 4-1 at home in October last year. The Blue Tigers are currently on top of the group standings with 13 points from five games.
The Kyrgyz Republic too have qualified for the Asian Cup final round in UAE next year after they beat Myanmar 5-1 on 22 March. The Central Asian nation are second with 10 points in the group and have an opportunity to end the qualifying campaign with a home win. A margin of more than three goals will also see the 115th-ranked side top Group A, pushing India down to second.
India are without their all-time top scorer and captain Sunil Chhetri who is suspended for the tie. Veteran goalkeeper Subrata Paul was not even included in the list of probables. The captain's armband could go to either goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu or Jeje Lalpekhlua.
Constantine has also included six uncapped players in his squad. Vishal Kaith, Subhasish Bose, Nishu Kumar, Lalruatthara, Seiminlen Doungel and Hitesh Sharma make the cut.
Goal has reliably learnt that Pritam Kotal and Seityasen Singh (both Delhi Dynamos FC) could not be part of the group due to some visa issues. Meanwhile, midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh and right-wingers Jackichand Singh and Nikhil Poojari remained unavailable for selection through injury.
Ranked 99th in the world, India travel from Mumbai on Sunday with the match slated to kick-off at 7.30 PM IST on Tuesday (27 March) at the Dolen Omurzakov 'Spartak' Stadium in Bishkek.
GOALKEEPERS: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Bengaluru FC), Amrinder Singh (Mumbai City FC), Vishal Kaith (FC Pune City);
DEFENDERS: Subhasish Bose, Nishu Kumar (both Bengaluru FC), Sandesh Jhingan, Lalruatthara (both Kerala Blasters FC), Anas Edathodika (Jamshedpur FC), Salam Ranjan Singh (East Bengal), Jerry Lalrinzuala (Chennaiyin FC), Narayan Das (FC Goa);
MIDFIELDERS: Rowllin Borges, Halicharan Narzary (both NorthEast United FC), Dhanapal Ganesh, Anirudh Thapa (both Chennaiyin FC), Udanta Singh (Bengaluru FC), Mohammed Rafique (East Bengal), Bikash Jairu (Jamshedpur FC);
FORWARDS: Balwant Singh (Mumbai City FC), Jeje Lalpekhlua (Chennaiyin FC), Seiminlen Doungel (NorthEast United FC), Alen Deory (Shillong Lajong FC), Manvir Singh (FC Goa), Hitesh Sharma (ATK).