Rani Rampal To Lead Women’s Hockey Team In World Cup
Hockey India announced the 18-member Indian women’s team with striker Rani Rampal who is back after a break. The tournament is slated to begin on July 21
India will play in Pool B alongside hosts and world no. 2 England, world no. 7 USA and world no. 16 Ireland.
The rejuvenated Rampal is backed by goalkeeper Savita who has been named as her deputy
The tournament will be a good platform for the team after their stellar performance in the Spain tour where the five-match series against the Spanish team ended on a victorious note. The Indian women defeated the hosts 4-1 in the fifth and final match at the Consejo Superior de Deportes Hockey Stadium in Madrid. The series ended on a 2-2 draw to make the cut for the Hockey Women’s World Cup squad.
The tour will also witness the return of goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu after having rested for the Spain Tour
“It was not an easy decision to select the 18-member team as all the core probables have worked really hard in the national camp. However, we feel that this 18-member team will be the best mixture to be successful at the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018,” said chief coach Sjoerd Marijne, TOI reported.
When asked about the team’s balance, the Dutchman said, “We have a good blend of experience and youth in the team. The recent Spain Tour has given the team great confidence to do well at the World Cup. Our focus is on the first match against England.”
“In order to reach our first goal of qualifying for the quarterfinals, we can only think about the first match against the hosts and the team is excited and confident of starting well against them,” he added.
The team has defences, including Sunita Lakra, Deep Grace Ekka, Deepika, drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur and youngster Reena Khokhar who makes a comeback into the team. In the midfield, Namita Toppo, Lilima Minz, Monika, Neha Goyal, Navjot Kaur and Nikki Pradhan will take charge.
All the best, girls!