Rani Rampal: Series against South Korea ‘vital’ in preparations for Women’s Series Finals

The India captain will be back after rehabilitation due to shoulder injury.

Rani Rampal had missed the previous series against Malaysia due to a shoulder injury.   -  K. MURALI KUMAR

Rani Rampal, captain of the Indian women’s hockey team, expects “high-intensity” action in the three-match series against host South Korea that begins in Jincheon from Monday.

Rani is on a comeback trail after having missed the previous Malaysia series due to a shoulder injury along with drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur, who had a hamstring injury. The Indian team left for South Korea on Saturday morning.

Rani felt the series will provide a good opportunity to prepare for the forthcoming FIH Women’s Series Finals in Hiroshima.

Related | Rani to lead 18-member team for South Korea tour

“This will be an important series for myself and Gurjit because we are coming back after rehabilitation. Playing high-intensity matches will put us in the right rhythm before we set off for the FIH Women’s Series Finals,” Rani said.

Testing new methods

“There have been some different things we have tried in this recent national camp in terms of creating variations inside the circle. We will get to try and test these methods against this strong team and basis how we execute these changes we can plan better for the next big tournament,” she added.

Read | India loses 2-5 to Australia in final match

The Women’s Series Finals is scheduled to be held in Hiroshima from June 15, 2019 to June 23, 2019.

“The team is confident about playing against a tough team like the Republic Of Korea in conditions best suited for them. The series will be very challenging given how the Korean National Team has been playing lately. Doing well against them will be vital in our preparations for the FIH Women’s Series Finals,” Rani said.

At the start of the year, the Indian team had toured Spain, competing against Spain and Ireland. It finished with two wins, three draws and a loss.

It also embarked on a Malaysia Tour in April, 2019, and remained unbeaten, winning four matches and drawing one.

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