Indian women’s hockey team for Commonwealth Games 2022: Savita, Vandana and Sushila to feature in squad

Experienced hands of Vandana and Savita and young forwards like Lalremsiami will feature in the Indian women’s hockey squad for the Commonwealth Gam

Indian women hockey team will have two of its most experienced goalkeepers Rajani Etimarpu and Savita Punia (left), in Birmingham.

Indian women hockey team will have two of its most experienced goalkeepers Rajani Etimarpu and Savita Punia (left), in Birmingham. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Experienced hands of Vandana and Savita and young forwards like Lalremsiami will feature in the Indian women’s hockey squad for the Commonwealth Games.

Here are the profiles of all the athletes who will represent India in women’s hockey team at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham.

Savita Punia (Captain, 32, Goalkeeper)

International caps: 234

Making her international debut at 18 at the Spar Cup Four Nations Tournament in Durban, Savita helped India win bronze at the 2013 Asia Cup and gold at the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy. She was part of the team at the 2016 Rio Olympics and was the Goalkeeper of the Tournament at the World League Round 2 in 2017.

Savita also won the 2017 Asia Cup, silver at the 2018 Asian Games and Asian Champions Trophy and was the vice-captain at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

At the 2022 Asia Cup, she led India to a third-place finish and was also the captain at the Hockey Pro League 2021/22.

Rajani Etimarpu (32, Goalkeeper)

International caps: 96

Rajani has been part of the Indian squad for more than a decade. A member of the Indian team at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 World Cup, she is one of the few in the side to have won every medal at the Asian Champions Trophy – gold in 2016, silver in 2013, bronze in 2010.

She was part of the team at the 2010 World Cup and won silver at the 2018 Asian Games and bronze at the 2022 Asia Cup.

Deep Grace Ekka (28, Defender)

International caps: 234

Part of the junior national team which won bronze at the 2013 Junior World Cup, Deep made her senior team debut at the 2013 Asia Cup, winning bronze. She was part of the Indian team at the Rio Olympics and the side that finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

India’s Deep Grace Ekka hits the ball during the women’s field hockey semi-final match between India and China at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on August 29, 2018.

India’s Deep Grace Ekka hits the ball during the women’s field hockey semi-final match between India and China at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on August 29, 2018. | Photo Credit: AFP

The defender won gold at the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy and the 2017 Asia Cup and was part of the side that won silver at the 2018 Asian Champions Trophy and 2018 Asian Games.

The backup penalty and corner expert was the vice-captain of the side which finished third at the 2022 Asia Cup and Pro League 2021/22.

Gurjit Kaur (26, defender)

International caps: 118

Gurjit made her debut against Malaysia, in 2014. A penalty corner specialist, she scored the match-winning goal against Australia to reach the semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics.

The FIH Player of the Year for 2020-2021 and the third highest scorer at the 2017 Asia Cup, she helped the team reach its maiden quarterfinal at the 2018 World Cup and win the silver at the 2018 Asian Games and Asian Champions Trophy.

Gurjit was the leading goal-scorer at the 2019 Women's Series Final and played an important role as India finished third at the 2022 Asia Cup.

Nikki Pradhan (28, defender)

International caps: 133

Nikki Pradhan was the first Jharkhand hockey player at the Olympics in 2016. She has the ability to quickly switch positions across the field.

Making her debut during the 2016 South Africa tour, she won the gold in the 2017 Asia Cup, silver at the 2018 Asian Games and the Asian Champions Trophy and was a member of the side at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and World Cup.

Nikki played a key role in winning the Tokyo Olympic qualifiers against USA and was part of the team at the Tokyo Olympics and the Pro League 2021/22.

Udita (24, defender)

International caps: 64

Haryana-born Udita captained the Under-18 team at the 2016 AHF Cup and made her international debut during the 2017 tour of New Zealand.

Being a regular since, she has participated in the 2018 World Cup, the Asian Games and the Asian Champions Trophy and was a member of the team at the Tokyo Olympics.

Udita won the bronze medal at the 2022 Asia Cup and the Pro League 2021/22. She can also play up front as a forward.

Nisha (26, midfielder)

International caps: 43

Another member of the Indian team at the Tokyo Olympics, Nisha was part of the bronze-winning side at the 2022 Asia Cup and the one that secured 3rd place at the Pro League 2021/22.

An intelligent playmaker, she made her international debut against Uruguay in the 2019 Women's Series Finals, was part of the side during the Argentina tour and is the first Muslim player in the team since Saba Anjum.

Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam (30, midfielder)

International caps: 214

One of the seniormost players in the national team, Sushila was the captain of the maiden bronze-winning side at the 2013 Junior World Cup. The midfielder won bronze at the 2014 Asian Games and was the captain of the team at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

India’s Sushila Chanu on her way to score a goal against Azerbaijan during the Women’s Hockey Test Match at Dhyan Chand Stadium in New Delhi on January 18, 2012.

India’s Sushila Chanu on her way to score a goal against Azerbaijan during the Women’s Hockey Test Match at Dhyan Chand Stadium in New Delhi on January 18, 2012. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

After winning the gold medal at the 2017 Asia Cup, she suffered an injury that kept her out for more than a year, missing the 2018 Asian Games and World Cup before returning in 2019.

Known for her explosive skills, she is capable of scoring from acute angles and played a key role at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Monika Malik (28, Midfielder)

International caps: 184

Making her debut in 2013, Monika has been part of the Indian team at the 2016 and 2021 Olympics and won gold at the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy and the 2017 Asia Cup.

A member of the side at the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games, she played a key role in a fourth-place finish at Tokyo Olympics. The midfielder excels in running down the sidelines and providing the ball for the forwards with precision.

She is valued as a playmaker and is skilled at getting out of tricky corners without committing a foul.

Neha Goyal (25, Midfielder)

International caps: 109

Called up to India's squad for the 2011 Junior Asia Cup at the age of 14, Monica has been part of the Indian team at the 2017 Asia Cup, 2018 World Cup, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games and 2021 Olympics.

She made it to the senior team through open selection trials in 2014, making her debut at the Champions Challenge that year. The 25-year-old is known for her speed and ability to weave past opponents with excellent ball control and the ability to find gaps.

Jyoti (22, Midfielder)

Caps: 36

Jyoti was a member of the side that won the 2019 FIH Women's Series Finals in Hiroshima.

Making her senior team debut during the 2019 Malaysia tour, she also contributed to the team as it bagged bronze at the 2022 Asia Cup and 3rd place in the FIH Pro League 2021/22.

Navjot Kaur (27, Midfielder)

International caps: 202

A student of Shahbad Academy, Navjot made her senior debut in a series against New Zealand in Napier in 2012 after a strong showing in the Junior Asia Cup and the International U-21 tournament in the Netherlands.

She was also a member of the bronze-winning Junior world Cup side in 2013 and also represented India at the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games, winning bronze and

silver respectively.

The midfielder was part of the two Commonwealth Games teams (2014 — 5th, 2018 — 4th), two Olympics teams (2016, 2021), the 2022 Asia Cup and the Pro League 2021/22.

Salima Tete (20, Midfielder)

International caps: 59

Salima was the captain of the Indian junior side that won silver at the 2018 Youth Olympics and came up the ranks through age group tournaments including Under-21 Valencia 5-Nation (2016), 2016 Under-18 AHF Cup through the Under-21, Under-23 and India A sides.

After impressing on the 2019 Europe tour, she made the cut to the senior team, playing a key role in India's qualification for Tokyo Olympics, She was part of India’s third-place finish at the 2022 Asia Cup and FIH Pro League 2021/22.

Vandana Katariya (30, Forward)

International caps: 270

Vandana was the top-scorer for India at the 2013 Junior Women's World Cup, winning bronze, and was a member of the side at the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy (gold), World League Round 2 2017.

The most experienced player on the Indian side, the 30-year-old has been part of every major competition over years -- World Cup (2018), Asian Games (2014 and 2018), Asia Cup (2013 and 2017), Commonwealth Games (2014 and 2018) and Olympics (2016 and 2021).

India’s Vandana Katariya, center, passes the ball against China’s Yu Zhou during their women’s hockey match at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.

India’s Vandana Katariya, center, passes the ball against China’s Yu Zhou during their women’s hockey match at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. | Photo Credit: AP

She is the only Indian women’s hockey player to score a hat-trick at the Olympics and though she has moved to a playmaker role in recent years, Vandana continues to score goals from impossible angles.

Lalremsiami (22, Forward)

International caps: 92

The forward is lightning quick and specialises in the ability to outrun any opponent, wrong-foot the defence and shoot with power.

Lalremsiami made her international debut in 2017 during the test series against Belarus and was a member of the 2016 Under-18 Asia Cup and the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

The FIH Rising Star of the Year in 2020 won the silver at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, the 2018 Asian Games, and was a member of the Indian side at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and World Cup.

She was also a part of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics team and won the bronze medal at the 2022 Asia Cup in Muscat.

Navneet Kaur (26, Forward)

International caps: 113

Senior debut in 2014, a year after winning bronze at the 2013 Junior World Cup 2013; standout player at the 2017 Asia Cup and 2018 Asian Champions Trophy, 2018 Commonwealth Games and World Cup; helped India win silver at the 2018 Asian Games; known for one-touch shots at the goal and quick solo runs upfront.

Sharmila Devi (20, Forward)

International caps: 39

The FIH Rising Star of the Year in 2020-2021, Sharmila made her debut at the Olympic test event in 2019 and was part of the fourth-place finishing team at the Junior World Cup in April 2022.

She was also a part of the Indian team at the Tokyo Olympics.

Indian player Sharmila Devi (No.7) in action against USA in the first leg of the women’s hockey Olympic qualifers match.

Indian player Sharmila Devi (No.7) in action against USA in the first leg of the women’s hockey Olympic qualifers match. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Sangita Kumari (20, Forward)

International caps: 6

An alumnus of the Sports Training Centre in Simdega, Sangita is the third player from Jharkhand on the India side, making her senior team debut against Spain in the Pro League 2021/22.

She has been part of the junior squad since 2016, with several overseas tours including trips to Spain, Belgium, Australia and Chile as well as the 2018 Youth Olympic Qualifiers.

She was also a member of the Indian squad at the Junior World Cup 2022.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :
Connect With Us