MUMBAI: The experienced pair of Savia Punia and Deep Grace Ekka will continue to be the captain and vice-captain of the Indian women’s hockey team at the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England from July 28.
Hockey India on Thursday announced an 18-member squad for the Commonwealth Games under the leadership of Savita and Deep Grace. The two were announced as captains and vice-captains for the FIH Women’s World Cup to be held in Spain and the Netherlands from 1–17 July.
There has been a major change in the two teams with goalkeeper Rajini Etimarpu for Bichu Devi Kharibam, who was part of the last few matches of the Pro League campaign and was also picked for the World Cup.
Former captain and forward Rani Rampal will also miss the Commonwealth Games after not being nominated for the World Cup. Few days back at the time of World Cup squad announcement. Head coach Jeanneke Schopman said Rani was still undergoing rehabilitation for her right hamstring injury.
In his absence, the forward line will include the much-experienced Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Sharmila Devi and the young Sangeeta Kumari.
Defenders Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan and Udita have been named in the squad along with midfielders Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monica, Neha, Jyothi, Navjot Kaur and Salima Tete.
Tokyo Olympic Games semi-finalists, India are placed in Pool A along with England, Canada, Wales and Ghana. The team will start its campaign against Ghana on 29 July.
In their previous outing at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, India had finished fourth after losing to England in the bronze medal match. However, after an impressive campaign in their maiden FIH Pro League in which they finished third behind Argentina and the Netherlands, the Indian team looks forward to a podium finish in Birmingham.
Speaking about the team selection, head coach Schopman said, “We have picked an experienced team for the Commonwealth Games and the players believe they have a good shot at a medal this time around.”
“After a good outing in the FIH Pro League matches, the team is excited and understands that the expectations are high. We would have just finished our World Cup campaign a few days before the CWG so it was very important for us to pick a physically fit team as the recovery time between both the events is around 10 days,” Schopman was quoted as saying by Hockey India was. a release.
Goalkeepers: Savita (captain), Rajni Etimarpu; Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (Vice-Captain), Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita; Midfielders: Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monica, Neha, Jyothi, Navjot Kaur, Salima Tete; Forwards: Vandana Kataria, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Sharmila Devi, Sangeeta Kumari.
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