Five reasons for Indian women's hockey team's disappointing World League campaign
Absence of Rani Rampal: The Indian team sorely missed the services of this precociously talented striker.
Rani has been a lynchpin upfront around which most of our attacking moves revolve around. A prolonged back injury kept her out of competitive action in the last eight months or so. She missed the Champions Challenge Cup in Ireland and the six match Test series against New Zealand last year.
Rani was available for the Hockey World League Round 2 tournament in New Delhi, where she was at her menacing best, slamming seven goals in the tournament, including a sizzling hat-trick against Kazakhstan. A member of the 2010 FIH Women’s All Star team, Rani’s injury-induced absence was a big blow to the Indian attacking aspirations as the likes of Poonam Rani, Anupa Barla, Lilima Miz, Roselin Dung Dung and Ritusha Kumari just could not imposed themselves against their opponents.
The frailties of the Indian strike force came to the fore as they were virtually reduced to being mute spectators on the pitch even as the opposition ran roughshod over us.