Hockey India on Thursday named the 18-member Indian Women's Hockey Team for the prestigious Commonwealth Games scheduled to begin on 28th July in Birmingham, England. India placed in pool A along with England, Canada, Wales, and Ghana will begin their campaign on 29th July against Ghana.
The team will be led by Savita and vice-captained by experienced defender Deep Grace Ekka. The squad includes goalkeepers Savita and Rajani Etimarpu. Defenders Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, and Udita have been named in the squad along with midfielders Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, and Monika, Neha, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur, and Salima Tete.
The forward line features the very experienced Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Sharmila Devi, and youngster Sangita Kumari. In their previous outing at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, India had finished fourth after a loss to England in the Bronze medal match. However, after an impressive campaign in their maiden FIH Pro League where they finished overall third behind Argentina and the Netherlands, the Indian team is keen on a podium finish in Birmingham.
Speaking about the team selection, Chief Coach Janneke Schopman said, "We have chosen an experienced side for the Commonwealth Games and the players believe they have a good shot at a medal this time."
"The team is upbeat after a good outing in the FIH Pro League matches and understands very well that the expectations are also high. We would have finished our World Cup campaign only days before the CWG so it was very essential for us to pick a physically fit team as the recovery time between the two events is just about 10 days," added Schopman.
Deep Grace Ekka (VC)
Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam