New Delhi: Hockey India Wednesday named an 18-member Indian team, including four players from Odisha, for the upcoming FIH Women’s Series Finals starting in Hiroshima, Japan June 15.
While Rani will captain the Indian team, Savita will share the responsibility of Vice-Captain and the tournament will see midfielder Nisha making her International debut.
Experienced goalkeeper Savita and Rajani Etimaru will guard India’s goalpost while defenders Deep Grace Ekka, Nisha, Gurjit Kaur, Salima Tete and Sunita Lakra have been named in the squad.
Midfielders Monika, Nikki Pradhan, Lilima Minz, Neha Goyal and Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam have been called-up while the forward-line features Rani, Vandana Katariya, Navjot Kaur, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami and Jyoti.
“We have a good balanced team with youth and experienced players. Nisha is replacing injured Reena Khokar in the midfield and she has shown in training that she is worthy of the position and executes her role and sticks to the tasks as expected. She makes her International debut and I believe she will do well,” said Chief coach Sjoerd Marijne.
Grouped in Pool A along with Poland, Uruguay and Fiji, India will begin their campaign on the opening day against Uruguay, while Pool B features 18th Asian Games Gold Medallist Japan, Chile, Russia and Mexico.
“We have had good preparations, having played against different styles during our tour to Spain, Malaysia and Republic of Korea,” Marijne said. “We have done everything we could do to be well-prepared and now we will focus on getting off to a good start against Uruguay.”
Goalkeepers: Savita (Vice Captain), Rajani Etimarpu.
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Nisha, Gurjit Kaur, Salima Tete, Sunita Lakra.
Midfielders: Monika, Nikki Pradhan, Lilima Minz, Neha Goyal, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam.
Forwards: Rani (Captain), Vandana Katariya, Navjot Kaur, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Jyoti.