Indian women’s hockey team departed for the Republic of Korea on Saturday to play a three-match series against Korea beginning from May 20. The Indian team will be led by striker Rani and vice-captained by goalkeeper Savita. The team will be looking at the series as an ideal preparation for the forthcoming FIH Women’s Series Finals Hiroshima 2019, scheduled to be held from June 15-23. “The team backed by some good results in the previous tournaments is confident about playing against a tough team like the Republic Of Korea in conditions best suited for them. The series will be very challenging given how the Korean national team has been playing lately,” the team skipper, Rani said in an official statement.
“Doing well against them will be vital in our preparations for the FIH Women’s Series Finals Hiroshima 2019,” she added. For the series against Korea, drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur has also made her return to the team. The team had toured Spain earlier this year where they played matches against the hosts and Ireland. The Indian team finished with a record of two wins, three draws, and one loss. The Indian team also went on the Malaysia tour in April this year and the side remained unbeaten against the Malaysian Hockey team as they won four matches and drew one.
“This will be an important series for myself and Gurjit because we are coming back after rehabilitation. Playing high-intensity matches will put us in the right rhythm before we set off for the FIH Women’s Series Finals Hiroshima 2019,” Rani said. “There have been some different things we have tried in this recent national camp in terms of creating variations inside the circle. We will get to try and test these methods against this strong team and basis how we execute these changes we can plan better for the next big tournament,” she added.
Indian 18-member squad for Republic of Korea tour:
Goalkeepers: Savita (vc), Rajani Etimarpu,
Defenders: Salima Tete, Sunita Lakra, Deep Grace Ekka, Karishma Yadav, Gurjit Kaur, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam,
Midfielders: Monika, Navjot Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Neha Goyal, Lilima Minz,
Forwards: Rani (Captain), Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Jyoti, Navneet Kaur.