Hockey

Rani Rampal to lead Indian women’s hockey team

Rani Rampal.

Rani Rampal.   | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

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For the tour of New Zealand beginning Jan. 25

The Indian women’s hockey team would kick off its preparations for the 2020 Olympics with a five-match tour of New Zealand later this month, its first assignment in the new year and since qualifying for the Tokyo Games.

A 20-member team for the same was named by Hockey India on Tuesday although the team management is likely to play with only 16 or 18 players in certain games for a better test under rules and in conditions similar to Olympics.

The tour to begin on 25 January 2020 in Auckland will be led by captain Rani Rampal. The team, currently training in Bengaluru, would play three matches against the World No.6, one against its development side and one game against reigning Olympic champion and World No. 5 Great Britain.

“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 16 players because that is what is allowed at the Olympics. The players have to show their best and I want to see how they perform under pressure and stay in the right rhythm through the series,” chief coach Sjoerd Marijne said.

The squad:

Goalkeepers: Savita, Rajini Etimarpu; Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur, Reena Khokhar, Salima Tete; Midfielders: Sushila Chanu, Nisha, Namita Toppo, Udita, Monika, Lilima Minz; Forwards: Neha, Sonika, Rani, Sharmila Devi, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Vandana Katariya, Navjot Kaur.

The schedule: Jan 25: Vs. New Zealand development side; Jan 27 & 29: Vs. New Zealand; Feb 4: Vs. Great Britain; Feb 5: Vs. New Zealand.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 7:40:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/rani-rampal-to-lead-indian-womens-hockey-team/article30569547.ece

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