Rani Rampal returns to team for series against South Africa and the Netherlands

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Hockey India recently announced a 22-member Indian women's hockey team squad for the upcoming tour of South Africa, which starts on January 16. The Indian team, ranked 8th in world, will play four tests against South Africa, ranked 22nd, and three matches against world no.1 team, The Netherlands.

The test series will also mark the return of forward Rani Rampal, who would be playing for the first time since the FIH Women's Hockey Pro League 2021-22 match against Belgium in June last year. Rampal, who had led India at Tokyo 2020 Olympics, had been out of action due to an injury.

Meanwhile, Savita Punia will continue to lead the team, while Navneet Kaur has been named the vice-captain. Punia had led India to a win in the FIH Women's Nations Cup, thus helping India qualify for the FIH Pro League 2023-24.

Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, who led the Indian women's junior team at the Uniphar U-23 5 Nations Tournament 2022 in May, has received her maiden call-up to the senior team.

India Squad 

Goalkeepers: Savita Punia (captain), Bichu Devi Kharibam

Defenders: Nikki Pradhan, Udita, Ishika Chaudhary, Gurjit Kaur

Midfielders: Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, P. Sushila Chanu, Nisha, Salima Tete, Monika, Neha, Sonika, Baljeet Kaur

Forwards: Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur (vice-captain), Vandana Katariya, Sangita Kumari, Beauty Dungdung, Rani Rampal, Reena Khokhar, Sharmila Devi

Schedule

January 16, Monday: South Africa vs India - 6:30 PM IST

January 17, Tuesday: South Africa vs India - 6:30 PM IST

January 19, Thursday: South Africa vs India - 6:30 PM IST

January 21, Saturday: South Africa vs India - 6:30 PM IST

January 22, Sunday: Netherlands vs India - 6:30 PM IST

January 27, Friday: Netherlands vs India - 6:30 PM IST

January 28, Saturday: Netherlands vs India - 6:30 PM IST

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