Hockey India on Friday announced the 18-member Indian women’s team for the prestigious Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 which is slated to begin on July 21. The Indian team, which has been placed in Pool B along with hosts England,  USA and Ireland, will be led by experienced forward Rani while goalkeeper Savita will shoulder the responsibility of vice captain. Also Read - India Hockey Star Gurjant Singh Hopes to Prove His Mettle Before Tokyo Olympics

Fellow goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu returns to the team after having been rested for the Spain Tour. Also Read - Gyanendro Ningombam Elected Unopposed as Hockey India President

India’s defence will consist of 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 hold fort. Also Read - Just The Beginning of my Career, Need to Improve on Many Aspects: India Hockey Midfielder Vivek Prasad

Rani returned to the team during their Spain tour and will again be leading her team’s forward-line. The ace-striker will be linking up with the experienced Vandana Katariya while Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami and Udita will also provide them support in attack.

“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,” stated chief coach Sjoerd Marijne.

On 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 quarter finals, we can only think about the first match against the hosts and the team is excited and confident of starting well against them in front of a packed stadium,” expressed Marijne.

Indian women’s team for World Cup

Goalkeepers

1.     Savita (VC)

2.     Rajani Etimarpu

Defenders

3.     Sunita Lakra

4.     Deep Grace Ekka

5.     Deepika

6.     Gurjit Kaur

7.     Reena Khokhar

Midfielders

8.    Namita Toppo

9.    Lilima Minz

10.  Monika

11.  Neha Goyal

12.  Navjot Kaur

13.  Nikki Pradhan

Forwards

14.  Rani (C)

15.  Vandana Katariya

16.  Navneet Kaur

17.  Lalremsiami

18.  Udita