Women's Asian Champions Trophy 2018: Sunita Lakra to lead 18-member Indian team in absence of Rani Rampal
Hockey India on Wednesday announced the 18-member Indian Women’s Hockey Team for the Asian Champions Trophy to begin on 13 May, 2018 in Donghae City, Korea.
The Indian team who go into the tournament as defending champions will be led by experienced defender Sunita Lakra in the absence of Rani Rampal, who has been rested for the tournament while goalkeeper Savita will shoulder the responsibility of Vice Captain.
India’s defence is full of experience with Deepika, Deep Grace Ekka, Suman Devi Thoudam and Gurjit Kaur who doubles up as a drag-flicker. The midfield will feature Monika, Namita Toppo, Nikki Pradhan, Neha Goyal, Lilima Minz, Navjot Kaur and Udita while India’s attack will be led by Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur and Anupa Barla.
The team will be hoping to ride on the good show at the recently held XXI Commonwealth Games where they made the Semi Final after 12 years but eventually finished fourth. In 2016, the Indian team had defeated China in the Final to win the previous edition of Asian Champions Trophy. They followed up this victory with a successful outing at the 2017 Asia Cup where they beat China again in the Final.
This year, the team will begin their campaign against Japan on 13 May, 2018. “We were very disappointed after losing the Semi Final in CWG by a close margin to hosts Australia. We knew it was our best chance to make the medal round. Against England too, we didn’t perform the way we had planned but we carry a lot of confidence and heart from these matches against tougher teams like England and Australia.
While fitness and speed have been a major focus point in all our camps, we are also working hard in terms of goal conversion and improving our attack. While the team is of mostly experienced players, we also have talented youngsters who are eager to contribute to the team’s success and help us defend the title,” stated the 27-year-old Sunita Lakra.
1. Savita (VC)
4. Sunita Lakra (C)
5. Deep Grace Ekka
6. Gurjit Kaur
7. Suman Devi Thoudam
9. Namita Toppo
10. Nikki Pradhan
11. Neha Goyal
12. Lilima Minz
13. Navjot Kaur
15. Vandana Katariya
17. Navneet Kaur
18. Anupa Barla