Indian hockey teams get into Asian Games mode

Goalkeeper Savita to lead with defender Deep Grace Ekka as her deputy.

Team Parvasi – Inside

Indian hockey teams are getting into the Asian Games mode. The Games to be held in Hangzhou are crucial as they will serve as the qualifying round for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. The winners of men and women competitions in Hangzhou will have direct entry to the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.

As a part of its preparations for the Hangzhou, Hockey India on Monday named a 20-member Indian women’s team for a three-match series against Australia to be held in Adelaide from  May 18. The Indian women will also play two games against Australia ‘A’. These training games will be part of the team’s preparations for the all-important Hangzhou Asian Games 2023.

The team will be led by ace goalie Savita who was recently honoured with the Balbir Singh Sr Hockey India Player of the Year (2022) Award. She will be assisted by Deep Grace Ekka as the Vice Captain. Bichu Devi Kharibam is the second goalkeeper named in the squad with defenders Deep Grace Ekka, Nikki Pradhan, Ishika Chaudhary, Udita and Gurjit Kaur. Midfielders include Nisha, Navjot Kaur, Monika, Salima Tete, Neha, Navneet Kaur, Sonika, Jyoti, and Baljeet Kaur.

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India’s forward line will be spearheaded by the seasoned striker Vandana Katariya who has more than 250 International caps. She will be joined by Lalremsiami, Sangita Kumari and Sharmila Devi.

Speaking about the team selection, Chief Coach Janneke Scopman said, “We are excited to have international exposure again after 2 intense training blocks. Australia are a formidable opponent that loves to play attacking hockey with speed. It will be a great test for us, and we will endeavour to match their speed on offence while maintaining our defensive ground.”

India will face Australia on May 18, 20 and 21 besides Australia ‘A’ on May 25 and 27. The Mate Stadium in Adelaide will be the venue for all five games.

Prabhjot Singh

NEWS

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