London, June 14 : Experienced defender Rupinder Pal Singh and midfielder S.K. Uthappa have been ruled out of the Indian squad for the Hockey World League Semi Final scheduled to begin here on Thursday.
Rupinder will be unavailable for the tournament due to a hamstring injury. The ace drag-flicker will be replaced by defender Jasjit Singh Kular, who also doubles up as a penalty corner specialist.
Kular has played 46 matches in an Indian jersey with five international goals to his name.
Uthappa, on the other hand, had to return home to attend to a family emergency. He will be replaced by Sumit Kumar.
Sumit made his debut for the senior India team at the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup earlier this year. He had a successful stint with the junior India team last year during which they won the Junior Men’s World Cup.
The 20-year-old from Sonepat district of Haryana was part of the 33-member core group that trained at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Bengaluru prior to this tournament.
India will take on Scotland in their first match on Thursday.
“With a strong core group who have been working together since February this year, we have several options and I don’t see this as a setback for us at all,” India team’s technical director Roeland Oltmans said.