Bhubaneswar: Hockey India on Friday named the 18-member Indian Women’s Hockey Team for the season opener in Spain starting 26 January where the team led by Rani and Vice-Captained by Savita will play four matches with Spain National Team and two matches against the 2018 Women’s World Cup runners-up Ireland.
Two players from Odisha– Deep Grace Ekka and Lilima Minz– are among the selected 18 players.
The team includes goalkeepers Savita and RajaniEtimarpu. The Indian team for Spain Tour will feature defender Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam who makes a comeback after missing out on the 2018 Women’s World Cup and the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang last year due to injury.
Defender SalimaTete, who led the India U-18 team to a Silver medal at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, has also been named in the team along with experienced Deep Grace Ekka, Rina Khokhar, Nikki Pradhan and drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur who will add strength to India’s defence.
While midfield features Lilima Minz, Karishma Yadav, Sonika and Neha Goyal, the forward-line will have the experience of Rani, Vandana Katariya, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Udita and Navjot Kaur.
“The team has a different mix of players this time with some of the key players like Sunita Lakra, Namita Toppo among few other experienced players being rested. The idea was to give more players a chance to experience playing at a top level so we can create more depth in our selection ahead of the Olympic Qualifiers,” stated Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne about the team selection.
The Indian team will leave on 24 January for the Spain Tour from Bengaluru where they have been based for the past two weeks for the National Camp.
1. Savita (Vice Captain)
3. Rina Khokhar
4. Deep Grace Ekka
6. Nikki Pradhan
7. Gurjit Kaur
8. Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam
9. Lilima Minz
10. Karishma Yadav
12. Neha Goyal
13. Rani (Captain)
14. Vandana Katariya
15. Navneet Kaur
18. Navjot Kaur