As the 18-member Indian women’s hockey team prepares itself for the upcoming Asia Cup hockey tournament starting from October 28, striker Rani Rampal is all set to captain the team.

Rampal is confident the girls will do well. “We have made improvements in our game wherever it was necessary. I feel the team is playing well as a unit with good sense of cohesion in our squad. We are looking forward to performing well in Japan so that we can qualify for the World Cup,” she said.

Hockey India selected the team that will start its campaign at Kakamigahara City, Japan, with a match against Singapore. The Indian team will play in Pool A alongside China, Malaysia and Singapore.

Hockey India has chosen senior goalkeeper Savita as the team’s vice-captain. Other experienced players include defender Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, who is making a comeback into the team after a while. Forwards Navneet Kaur, Navjot Kaur and Sonika also made it to the team for the Asia Cup. Savita and Rajani Etimarpu will play as goalkeepers. Deep Grace Ekka, Sunita Lakra, Suman Devi Thoudam and Gurjit Kaur will defend.

Namita Toppo, Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Lilima Minz and Neha Goyal are the midfielders. And the forward line will have Rani, Vandana Katariya and Lalremsiami.

This is also the first time that the team will play under Coach Harendra Singh’s guidance. Earlier, Dutchman Sjeord Marijne coached the team.

“We have made improvements in our game wherever it was necessary. I feel the team is playing well as a unit with good sense of cohesion in our squad. We are looking forward to performing well in Japan so that we can qualify for the World Cup,” Rani Rampal

Singh is looking forward to some strong performances and preparing the team for next year’s Hockey Women’s World Cup in London.

“We have a very good blend of youth and experience within our team. It will help us in negating the tasks ahead of us at the women’s Asia Cup. The team has played against higher ranked teams in the build-up to the tournament which has helped us in improving our game.”

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“We have made several minor adjustments and improvements in our game so that we don’t repeat unforced errors. We will be aiming to win the women’s Asia Cup 2017 in order to qualify for next year’s World Cup,” said Singh, News18 reports.

Picture credit- YouTube

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