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Indian women’s hockey squad for tour of New Zealand announced

Published Jan 14, 2020
Jan 14, 2020 IST

Indian team would play three games against New Zealand and one vs Great Britain
Indian team would play three games against New Zealand and one vs Great Britain

Hockey India has made the official announcement of the 20-member Indian women’s squad for the tour of New Zealand set to begin later this month. Not surprisingly, Rani Rampal continues to lead the team while goalkeeper Savita remains her deputy.

The squad is on expected lines with all the usual names featured in it. The formidable forward line contains, apart from skipper Rani, Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur and Vandana Katariya. The defence continues to rest on the two experienced full-backs Deep Grace Ekka and Gurjit Kaur along with others like Reena Khokhar, Salima Tete and Sushila Chanu.

The midfield also has key players like Monika, Neha Goyal, Lilima Minz and Namita Toppo. Nikki Pradhan is a notable absence in the team but there are also a couple of new talents in Nisha and Udita.

Speaking on the occasion of the announcement of the team, coach Sjoerd Marijne said:

“I want to use this tour to create more competition within this group. Although we are taking a 20-member team, in some matches we will use 16 players because we play with 16 players at the Olympics and in some matches, we will play 18 members. The players have to show their best and I want to see how they perform under pressure and stay in the right rhythm for matches.”

Since the Indian team is not participating in the FIH Women’s Pro League, this tour becomes all the more important. It begins with a match against New Zealand’s Development Team and then moves on to four international contests – three against the hosts and one against defending Olympic champions Great Britain.

Squad: Rani (C), Savita (V-C, GK), Rajini Etimarpu (GK), Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur, Reena Khokhar, Salima Tete, Sushila Chanu, Nisha, Namita Toppo, Udita, Monika, Lilima Minz, Neha Goyal, Sonika, Sharmila Devi, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Vandana Katariya, Navjot Kaur

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