Hockey India on Wednesday named the 18-member team for the forthcoming FIH Women’s Series Finals, to be held in Hiroshima from June 15. The team will be led by Rani and vice-captained by Savita. Grouped in Pool A along with Poland, Uruguay and Fiji, India will begin their campaign on the opening day against Uruguay while Pool B features the 18th Asian Games Gold Medalist Japan, Chile, Russia and Mexico. Experienced goalkeeper Savita and Rajani Etimaru will guard India’s goalpost while defenders Deep Grace Ekka, Nisha, Gurjit Kaur, Salima Tete and Sunita Lakra have been named in the squad.
Midfielders Monika, Nikki Pradhan, Lilima Minz, Neha Goyal and Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam have been called-up while the forward-line features Rani, Vandana Katariya, Navjot Kaur, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami and Jyoti. “We have a good balanced team with youth and experienced players. Nisha is replacing injured Reena Khokar in the midfield and she has shown in training that she is worthy of the position and executes her role and sticks to the tasks as expected. She makes her international debut and I believe she will do well,” Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne said.
Speaking about the team’s preparedness, Marijne noted, “We have had good preparations, having played against different styles during our tour to Spain, Malaysia and Republic of Korea. We have done everything we could do to be well-prepared and now we will focus on getting off to a good start against Uruguay.