After having a long training session at Patiala in Punjab, the Indian women’s hockey team has departed for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to participate in the Women’s Hockey Asia Cup 2013.
This tournament is scheduled from 21st September 2013 to 27th September, 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The composition of Indian women’s team for the 8th edition of Women’s Hockey Asia Cup 2013 is as follows:
Rajani Etimarpu and Savita are the two goalkeepers selected in this 18-member Indian squad.
The list of defenders includes 8 names viz. Deep Grace Ekka, Joydeep Kaur, Kirandeep Kaur, Sunita Lakra, Deepika, Namita Toppo, P. Sushila Chanu, M. N Poonamma.
Among these 8 names in the list of defenders, Joydeep Kaur, Kirandeep Kaur and Deepika are the most experienced players with 105, 124, and 103 international caps respectively. On the other hand, the 22-year-old girl Sunita Lakra is the least experienced candidate in the whole squad with only 6 India appearances to her credit.
The responsibility of the midfield will be on the shoulders of four players namely Ritu Rani (the captain), Chanchan Devi Thokchom (the vice-captain), Soundarya Yendala and Lily Chanu.
Poonam Rani, Rani, Vandana Katariya and Anuradha Devi Thokchom will be the forwards in the Indian team.
Apart from the 18-member squad, 6 standby players have also been selected for tournament. These names include Sanarik Chanu, Asunta Lakra, Monika Malik, Navjot Kaur, Lilima Minz and Anupa Barla.
Team India is one of the eight teams that are participating in this tournament. The other seven participants are – hosts Malaysia, China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong China, Kazakhstan and Chinese Taipei.
These eight nations have been divided into 2 pools of four teams each with India in Pool-A along with the hosts Malaysia, China and Hong Kong China. On the other side, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea and Chinese Taipei have been placed in Pool-B. Top-2 teams from each pool will qualify for the knock-out stage i.e. semi-finals. The final match of this Asia Cup is scheduled on 27th September 2013.
The 21-year-old Ritu Rani will be leading India in this tournament. The captain has 156 India appearances to her account which is the maximum number of appearances in the 18-member Indian squad for this tournament.
This tournament will be the 8th edition of the Women’s Asia Cup and Malaysia has got the chance to host the tournament for the very first time. The National Stadium in Bukit Jalil will be the destination for this tournament.
Team India will be locking horns with Hong Kong China (World Ranking 53) in their inaugural match, which will be played on Saturday 21st September, 2013.
On the very next day i.e. Sunday 22nd September 2013, India will be up against the World No.7 China in their second match of the tournament.
In the last game of their group stage, India will be battling against the hosts Malaysia (World Ranking 22) on Tuesday 24th September, 2013.a