Defender Sahil Panwar and midfielder Nikhil Raj have made it to the 28-member probable India under 23 squad for the upcoming AFC U-23 Asian Cup 2022 Qualifiers to be held next month. India is drawn in Group E of the west zone alongside the UAE, Oman and Kyrgyz Republic U-23 sides.
21-year-old Sahil joined Odisha FC from Hyderabad FC earlier this year. After making his professional debut for FC Pune City in the fourth edition of the ISL, the Dehradun-born left-back played for Pune City and Hyderabad FC in 37 matches. He has represented the country in various age-group tournaments before and also captained Team India in the 2017 SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) U-18 Championship.
On the other hand, youngster Nikhil is with OFC as a part of a loan agreement with Kickstart FC. The 20-year-old has been a regular member of the Karnataka team in two editions of the Santosh Trophy and was awarded the best midfielder in the BDFA Super Division last season. He went on loan to the Indian Arrows and made nine appearances for them in the previous season of the Hero I-League.
Speaking about his selection, Sahil Panwar expressed, "I am very happy to have been called up for India under 23. I am looking forward to meeting my teammates and compete with them in every training session. I can't wait to represent my nation once again and I am going to give my all on the pitch."
Nikhil Raj commented, "I am delighted to get a call for the under 23 national team and waiting to meet my teammates there. I will work hard to do well and prove myself."