Hockey India on Friday named an 18-member Indian women’s squad for the season opener in Spain which starts on January 26. Also Read - India Hockey Legend And World Cup Winner Michael Kindo Passes Away at 73

The Indian team led by Rani will play four matches against Spain and two matches against the 2018 Women’s World Cup runners-up Ireland. Also Read - Indian Men's Hockey Team Finish Decade With Highest-Ever Ranking

The team includes goalkeepers Savita and Rajani Etimarpu. The Indian team for the Spain tour will feature defender Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam who makes a comeback after missing out on the 2018 Women’s World Cup and the Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang last year due to injury. Also Read - India Hockey Star Gurjant Singh Hopes to Prove His Mettle Before Tokyo Olympics

Defender Salima Tete, 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, Reena 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,” chief coach Sjoerd Marijne said in a statement.

The Indian team will leave on January 24 from Bengaluru where they have been based for the past two weeks for the national camp.