Vandana to lead Indian eves in Test Series vs Australia
New Delhi, Nov 12 (IANS) Ace forward Vandana Katariya was on Saturday retained as skipper of the Indian women's hockey team for the Test series against Australia, to be played in Melbourne from November 23 to 30.
Defender Sunita Lakra will be Vandana's deputy in the 18-member squad announced by Hockey India (HI) here.
Rajani Etimarpu and Savita will continue to remain as India's custodians while the defence line will be held by Deep Grace Ekka, Salima Tete, Rashmita Minz, Navdeep Kaur and Sunita.
The midfield too remains unchanged from the victorious Asian women's Champions trophy squad with in-form Rani, Deepika, Nikki Pradhan, Navjot Kaur, Monika and Karishma Yadav.
The forward line will be formed by experienced Poonam Rani, Anuradha Devi Thokchom, Vandana, Preeti Dubey and Sonika.
Upbeat and confident after the recent success at the fourth women's Asian Champions Trophy where they beat China in the final in Singapore, the Indian eves are looking forward to make amends for the disappointing outing Down Under earlier this year prior to the Olympics.
"After the Olympics, the team is playing with a fresh perspective and attitude towards the game. The recent win in Singapore goes to show that the team is eager to do well against best of the teams in the world and would continue doing well against Australia in their home turf," Vandana said in a statement.
"This will give us a lot of confidence going forward in the new Olympic cycle," she added.
Goalkeepers: Savita, Rajani Etimarpu
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Salima Tete, Sunita Lakra (Vice Captain), Rashmita Minz, Navdeep Kaur
Midfielders: Nikki Pradhan, Navjot Kaur, Karishma Yadav, Rani, Deepika, Monika
Forward: Poonam Rani, Anuradha Devi Thokchom, Vandana Katariya (Captain), Preeti Dubey, Sonika