Hockey India announced the squad for the women's hockey team, participating in the 4 nations tournament starting on May 30, earlier today. Indian eves will take on Australia, New Zealand and Japan in the 4 Nations Tournament in Darwin, Australia, as a final springboard to the Rio Olympics.
The squad for the tournament includes several veterans, among them defensive stalwart Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, who has been named Captain for the tournament. Deepika retained as Vice-Captain, and Poonam Rani and Vanadana Kataria form the core group of veterans who will be hoping to lead the team to a good showing prior to the Games. The squad also includes youngsters, defender Nikki Pradhan and 18-year-old mid fielder Preeti Dubey. Dubey was named the Asunta Lakra Upcoming Player of the Year Award (Women U-21) at the 2nd Annual Hockey India Awards this year.
Chanu, who has been named Captain, said, “It is a huge honour, to be named Captain of the squad for the tour. We have already faced Japan and New Zealand earlier, at the Hawke’s Bay Cup. Our chief aim will be to perform well against Japan and Australia and analyse their game at close quarters, since they are in our Pool at the Olympics.”
Talking about the squad announcement, Chief Coach Neil Hawgood said, "We are looking forward to the tournament. We are up against three world class teams and it will help us immensely in our preparations ahead of the Rio Olympics. Additionally, two of those teams are in our Pool in Rio (Australia and Japan). This will serve as good practice.”
All four teams competing in Darwin are in the top echelon of hockey nations with Australia currently ranked third, the Kiwi’s fourth, Japan tenth overall and India ranked 13th in the world.
Goalkeepers- Savita, Rajani Etimarpu
Defenders- Deepika (VC), Sunita Lakra, Nikki Pradhan , Deep Grace Ekka, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam(C), Hnialum Lal Ruat Feli
Midfielders- Rani, Namita Toppo, Navjot Kaur, Monika, Preeti Dubey, Renuka Yadav
Forwards- Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya, Anuradha Devi Thokchom, Lilima Minz
(Credits- Hockey India)
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