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New Delhi, March 31(IANS) – Hockey India (HI) on Tuesday announced an 18-member national women’s team led by Ritu Rani for the Hawke’s Bay Cup to be held in New Zealand from April 11 to 19.
Captain and centre-half Ritu Rani will be supported by vice-captain Deepika. The tournament will witness India, Argentina, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, USA and New Zealand.0
India, who will face China in their first match on April 11, are all set for the upcoming challenge.
Training under high performance director Roelant Oltmans, the team is also preparing for the all important Hockey World League (HWL) semi-final in Belgium.
If India finish among the top three in Belgium, they will qualify for the Rio Olympic Games.
The team is high in confidence post our back-to-back wins in the Hockey World League Round 2 in New Delhi, said Ritu Rani, who has represented India in more than 200 matches.
We know the tournament will not be easy but the team is positive to fight it tough, she said in a statement.
We have worked hard on our attacks and penalty corner conversions and aim to stick to our strategies.
Oltmans said: I have seen this team grow in confidence in the last one year and they are bettering themselves with each game.
They will be clashing with the top teams in the tournament and they are looking forward to it.
The aim is to stick to basics and not experiment much on the field while following the strategies planned for the match.
India claimed the bronze medal in the Incheon Asian Games 2014.
Goalkeepers: Savita, Rajni Etimarpu
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Deepika (vice-captain), Sunita Lakra, Sushila Chanu, M.N.
Midfielders: Ritu Rani (captain), Namita Toppo, Lilima Minz, Liliy Chanu, Navjot Kaur, Sondarya Yendala
Forwards: Vandana Katariya, Rani, Poonam Rani, Anuradha Thockchom.
–Indo-Asian News Sevice