Savita to lead India at Women’s Asia Cup

Deep Grace Ekka to be Savita’s deputy; Rani Rampal to skip tourney as she is recovering from injury.

The Indian squad for the Women's Asia Cup in Muscat, Oman. - HOCKEY INDIA

Goalkeeper Savita will lead India in Rani Rampal’s absence at the Women’s Asia Cup as Hockey India on Wednesday named an 18-member squad for the event. Defender Deep Grace Ekka will be Savita’s deputy.

Rani Rampal will miss the tourney as she is recovering from an injury in Bengaluru. As many as 16 members of the squad were part of the team that nearly won the bronze medal in the Olympics.

The team includes goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu and defenders Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, and Udita. The midfield includes Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Neha, Salima Tete, Jyoti and Navjot Kaur while the forwardline will see Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Vandana Katariya, Mariana Kujur and Sharmila Devi.

The team also has Deepika (Junior) and Ishika Chaudhary as replacement athletes.

‘Important tournament’

“This is a very important tournament for us and I am happy with the team we have chosen which is a mix of some very experienced players along with talented youngsters who have shown great potential at the international level,” chief coach Janneke Schopman said.

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“Though we were a bit disappointed with how things panned out for us at the Asian Champions Trophy, we were able to return to camp in SAI, Bengaluru and put in some good sessions of hockey to prepare well for this challenge.”

The Women’s Asia Cup is scheduled to be held between January 21-28 at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat, Oman.

India has been placed in Pool A along with Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. It will open its title defence against Malaysia on the opening day. The top four-teams from the tournament will qualify for the 2022 World Cup.

Indian women’s team
  • Goalkeepers: Savita (c), Rajani Etimarpu.
  • Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (vc), Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita.
  • Midfielders: Nisha, Sushila Chanu, Monika, Neha, Salima Tete, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur.
  • Forwards: Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Vandana Katariya, Mariana Kujur, Sharmila Devi.

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