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India to field full strength women’s team for Commonwealth Games

Hockey India has virtually named the same team that will play in the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup starting from July 1.

After men, Hockey India has decided to send a full strength Indian women’s hockey team to Birmingham to participate in the ensuing Commonwealth Games.

Hockey India has virtually named the same team that will play in the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup starting from July 1. In fact, the same team, minus Rani, played the concluding phase matches of the FIH Pro League. Experience of playing in Europe will stand the team in good stead in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Hockey India in a communique on Thursday released the names of the 18-member Indian team for the prestigious Commonwealth Games scheduled to be held  from July 28 in Birmingham. India is placed in pool A along with England, Canada, Wales and Ghana. India will begin its campaign on July  29 against Ghana.

The team will be led by Savita and vice-captain will be defender Deep Grace Ekka.

The squad includes goalkeepers Savita and Rajani Etimarpu; defenders Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, and Udita; midfielders Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Neha, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur and Salima Tete;

forwards Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Sharmila Devi and youngster Sangita Kumari.

In its 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 its maiden FIH Pro League where it 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 understand 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.

 

 

Prabhjot Singh