- Hockey India on Tuesday announced the 20-member squad for Indian Women's Hockey team's tour of New Zealand.
- Rani Rampal will be the captain while goalkeeper Savita will be her deputy.
- The 3-match series will commence on 25th January.
Rani Rampal will be leading the Indian women’s hockey team for the upcoming tour of New Zealand as the Hockey India announced the 20-member squad on Tuesday. Goalkeeper Savita was announced as the deputy of Rani.
The Indian Eves will be playing three games against the New Zealand women’s team, starting from January 27, 29 and February 5. However, before that, the team will first play against the New Zealand development squad in the warmup contest on January 25.
In February, the Indian team will compete against Great Britain.
The 20-member squad
Savita (Vice-Captain), Rajini Etimarpu, Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur, Reena Khokhar, Salima Tete, Sushila Chanu, Nisha, Namita Toppo, Udita, Monika, Lilima Minz, Neha, Sonika, Rani (Captain), Sharmila Devi, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Vandana Katariya, Navjot Kaur.
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Speaking about the tour, Indian chief coach, Sjoerd Marijne, said: “I want to use this tour to create more competition within this group. Although we are taking a 20-member team, in some matches we will use only 16 players because we play with 16 players at the Olympics and in some matches, we will play 18 members. The players have to show their best, and I want to see how they perform under pressure and stay in the right rhythm.”
Marijne also added that games against World No. 5 Britain and New Zealand, (World No. 6) will give a great opportunity for the Indian team to display its fearless attitude.
The tours will also prove to be an apt preparation for the 2020 Olympics.
The Indian women’s team had qualified for the global sports extravaganza in spectacular fashion with a victory over the United States in the qualifiers.
It was Rani who dramatically guided the India Eves to a 6-5 victory on aggregate in the qualifiers held in Bhubaneswar last year.
The Indian captain was recently nominated by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for the prestigious ‘World Games Athlete of the Year’ award.
“We at Hockey India are elated by the news of Rani being nominated for the World Games Athlete of the Year 2019. She indeed is a huge inspiration to many in the country and has made her own mark in the sport,” the president of Hockey India Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmad had said after the announcement.