Women's Hockey World Cup: Indian squad announced, striker Rani Rampal to lead team

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New Delhi:

Star forward Rani Rampal on Friday got named as the captain of India’s 18-member squad for the women’s hockey World Cup to be played in London on July.

Hockey India on Friday announced the final 18-member Indian women’s squad for the World Cup which is scheduled to begin on July 21.

India have been drawn in Pool B alongside hosts and world no. 2 England, world no. 7 USA and world no. 16 Ireland.

Goalkeeper Savita has been named as the deputy to Rani Rampal.

The mega tournament will witness the return of goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu after having rested for the Spain Tour.

India’s defence will consist of Sunita Lakra, Deep Grace Ekka, Deepika, drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur and youngster Reena Khokhar who makes a comeback into the team.

In the midfield, Namita Toppo, Lilima Minz, Monika, Neha Goyal, Navjot Kaur and Nikki Pradhan will hold fort.

“It was not an easy decision to select the 18-member team as all the core probable have worked really hard in the national camp. However, we feel that this 18-member team will be the best mixture to be successful at the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018,” said chief coach Sjoerd Marijne.

“We have a good blend of experience and youth in the team. The recent Spain Tour has given the team great confidence to do well at the World Cup. Our focus is on the first match against England,” said the Dutchman while taking about the balance of the team.

“In order to reach our first goal of qualifying for the quarterfinals, we can only think about the first match against the hosts and the team is excited and confident of starting well against them,” he added.

Indian women’s team:

Goalkeepers: Savita (Vice-Captain), Rajani Etimarpu                        

Defenders: Sunita Lakra, Deep Grace Ekka, Deepika, Gurjit Kaur, Reena Khokhar

Midfielders: Namita Toppo, Lilima Minz, Monika, Neha Goyal, Navjot Kaur, Nikki Pradhan

Forwards: Rani (Captain), Vandana Katariya, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Udita.

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