Hockey India on Wednesday announced the 18-member Indian squad that will be taking part in the upcoming Women's Hockey Asia Cup which is scheduled to be held between January 21 and 28 this year in Muscat, Oman. (More Hockey News)
A total of eight teams will be fighting it out for the top four spots in the competition to get an entry to Women’s Hockey World Cup 2022 which is scheduled to be held in Spain and Netherlands. Apart from defending champions India, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand all will be in the race looking for a top-four finish.
It is worth noting that India’s star goalkeeper Savita Punia will lead the team in Rani Rampal’s absence as the regular skipper is currently undergoing rehabilitation in Bengaluru. Meanwhile, the promotion of Savita saw experienced defender Deep Grace Ekka being named as the vice-captain of the team.
Here is the 18-member squad:
Goalkeepers: Savita Punia (captain), Rajani Etimarpu
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (vice-captain), Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita
Midfielders: Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Neha, Salima Tete, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur
Forwards: Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Vandana Katariya, Mariana Kujur, Sharmila Devi
Replacement Athletes: Deepika (Junior), Ishika Chaudhary
"This is a very important tournament for us and I am happy with the team we have chosen which is a mix of some very experienced players along with talented youngsters who have shown great potential at the international level. Though we were a bit disappointed with how things panned out for us at the Asian Champions Trophy, we were able to return to camp in SAI, Bengaluru and put in some good sessions of hockey to prepare well for this challenge," said chief coach Janneke Schopman in a statement realeased by Hockey India.
India have been grouped in pool A alongside Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. They kick off their Asia Cup campaign with a match against Malaysia on January 21. They face Japan on January 23 and Singapore on January 24 to end their league stage.