Salima Tete to lead India in FIH Women's Junior World Cup

Defender Ishika Chadhary will serve as Tete's deputy for the tournament which was postponed from December last year to 2022 due to the omicron-threat in South Africa.

Salima Tete (left) was part of the Indian team that clinched the silver medal at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires.   -  Getty Images

Midfielder Salima Tete was on Thursday named captain of the 20-member Indian team for the FIH Women's Junior World Cup, starting in Potchefstroom, South Africa on April 1.

Defender Ishika Chadhary will serve as Tete's deputy for the tournament which was postponed from December last year to 2022 due to the omicron-threat in South Africa.

Midfielders Sharmila Devi, Lalremsiami, who were part of the Indian women's team that finished fourth in the Tokyo Olympics, are also in the squad.

The Indian team has been grouped in pool D along with Germany, Malaysia and Wales.

It will kick-start its campaign on April 2 with its first match against Wales followed by their game against Germany a day later on April 3 with its last group-stage match is scheduled for April 5 against Malaysia.

The quarterfinals will be held on April 8 whereas the semifinals are scheduled for April 10. The final will be played on April 12.

The squad consists of goalkeepers Bichu Devi Kharibam, who recently made her senior India debut at the FIH Hockey Pro League matches against Germany, and Khushboo.

The defenders include Marina Lalramnghaki, Preeti, Priyanka, Chaudhary and Akshata Abaso Dekhale, who also made her Senior India debut against Germany at the recently held Pro League matches in Bhubaneswar.

Reet, Ajmina Kujur, Baljeet Kaur and Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke will form the Indian midfield along with Tete, Sharmila and Lalremsiami.

The forwardline will feature Lalrindiki, Jiwan Kishori Toppo, Mumtaz Khan, Beauty Dungdung, Deepika and Sangita Kumari, who also made her senior debut recently.

Speaking about the team, Chief Coach Janneke Schopman said, "After a long wait our junior players are definitely ready to start their Junior World Cup experience. It was difficult to finalise the selection as all players showed a lot of progress in the past months which is great to see.

"With a couple of players making their debut for the Senior Team in the Pro League recently, I believe that the added experience will have a positive influence.

"The team overall has a nice mixture of different skills and talents and am excited to see them taking on the best teams in the world at U21 level," Schopman added.

The Indian junior women's team's best show in recent times was at the 2013 edition of the World Cup when it finished on the podium with a bronze medal beating nemesis England in a shootout.

Squad: Goalkeepers:Bichu Devi Kharibam, Khushboo Defenders:Marina Lalramnghaki, Preeti, Priyanka, Ishika Chaudhary (Vice Captain), Akshata Abaso Dekhale Midfielders: Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, Salima Tete (Captain), Reet , Ajmina Kujur, Sharmila Devi, Lalremsiami, Baljeet Kaur Forwards: Lalrindiki, Jiwan Kishori Toppo, Mumtaz Khan, Beauty Dungdung, Deepika, Sangita Kumari Standbys: Madhuri Kindo, Neelam, Manju Chorsiya, Rutuja Dadaso Pisal, Annu.

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