India’s star striker and former captain Rani Rampal has not been included in the Women’s Hockey World Cup squad. Hockey India on Tuesday (June 21) announced an 18-member squad for next month’s World Cup. Goalkeeper Savita Poonia will lead the team. The World Cup will be organized jointly by the Netherlands and Spain from July 1 to 17.
Under the captaincy of Rani, the Indian team had a historic performance in the 2020 Olympics. The team reached the semi-finals and finished fourth. After recovering from a hamstring injury, Rani was selected for the recent FIH Pro League matches in Belgium and the Netherlands. Due to injury, Rani has been out since the Tokyo Olympics. Despite being part of the team, Rani did not appear in the first four matches of the European stage of the league, raising doubts about her overall fitness. That’s why he was kept out of the World Cup squad.
relied on core group
Apart from the Queen’s exit, no other surprise decision was taken. Only players who have been playing together for a long time have been selected. Apart from Rani, defenders Ishika Chaudhary and Akshata Abaso Dhakale, midfielder Baljit Kaur and striker Sangeeta Kumari have not been picked. The team management has reposed faith in the core group of players.
Deep Grace Ekka Team Vice Captain
Savita will continue to lead the team. At the same time, Deep Grace Ekka has been made the vice-captain. Apart from Savita, Bichu Devi Kharibam is the other goalkeeper in the 18-member team. In the defence, Deep Grace will be supported by Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan and Udita. At the same time, Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monica, Neha, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur, Sonika and Salima Tete will have a big responsibility in the midfield. The forward line features veteran Vandana Kataria, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur and Sharmila Devi. While talented young players Akshata and Sangeeta have been selected as replacement players.
India’s first match against England
India are placed in Pool B along with England, New Zealand and China. Team India will start its campaign against England on July 3. Against the English team, the Indian team lost the bronze medal match at the Tokyo Olympics. Savita Poonia’s team will come out to avenge that defeat. Last time in the World Cup, the Indian team lost against Ireland in the quarterfinals.
Group stage matches to be held in Amstelwein, Netherlands
India will play their group stage matches in Amstelwein, Netherlands. If the team finishes at the top of their group, the quarterfinal matches will be played in Amstelwein. After that the semi-final and final matches will be played in Teresa, Spain. The crossover matches for Pool B will be played in Spain.
Goalkeeper: Savita (captain), Bichu Devi Kharibam.
Defender: Deep Grace Ekka (Vice Captain), Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita.
Midfielder: Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monica, Neha, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur, Sonika, Salima Tete.
Forward: Vandana Kataria, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Sharmila Devi.
Replacement Players: Akshata Abaso Dhakale, Sangeeta Kumari.
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