Goalkeeper Savita Punia will captain the 20-member Indian women’s hockey squad for their tour of Germany and the Four-Nations tournament in Spain, Hockey India announced on Tuesday.
The Indian women’s team will first play three Test matches in Germany, one against China and two against Germany, from July 16-19, followed by a tour to Spain, where they will play against South Africa, England, and the hosts from July 25-30 in Terrassa in the Four-Nations Tournament.
The squad was selected at the ongoing national coaching camp at the SAI Centre in Bengaluru. The Germany tour and tournament in Spain will serve as crucial warm-ups for the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, China to be held between September 23-October 8 later this year.
Led by Punia, defender Deep Grace Ekka was also named the vice captain. Bichu Devi Kharibam is the second goalkeeper named in the squad, while the defenders picked for the tours are Nikki Pradhan, Ishika Chaudhary, Udita, and Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam along with Ekka.
In the midfield, the team’s lineup consists of Nisha, Monika, Salima Tete, Neha, Navneet Kaur, Sonika, Baljeet Kaur, Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, and Jyoti Chhatri.
India’s forward line will be spearheaded by the experienced striker Vandana Katariya. She will be joined by Lalremsiami, Sangita Kumari and Deepika.
Speaking about the team selection, the Indian women’s team coach Janneke Schopman said, “The Spain and Germany tours will be a great opportunity for our team to show their ability and skills on an international stage again and to continue our preparation for the Asian Games. I am excited as the players are performing at a high level this camp and they have been working tirelessly to improve their game and both tours will be a perfect platform for us to test ourselves against strong opponents. We will focus on maintaining a strong team unity and executing our strategies. Our goal is to play our own game and utilize the learnings of this camp and last tour.”
Schopman also added, “The tours will also be crucial for us in regards to the upcoming Asian Games as they will provide us with valuable insights and help us identify areas where we can further enhance our performance. It’s important for us to learn from each match and grow as a team.”
Indian women’s squad for Germany tour and Four-Nations tournament in Spain
Goalkeepers: Savita (C), Bichu Devi Kharibam
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (VC), Nikki Pradhan, Ishika Chaudhary, Udita, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam
Midfielders: Nisha, Monika, Salima Tete, Neha, Navneet Kaur, Sonika, Baljeet Kaur, Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, Jyoti Chhatri
Forwards: Lalremsiami, Vandana Katariya, Sangita Kumari, Deepika
Schedule for the Four Nations tournament
Tuesday, July 25 at 10:30pm IST - India W vs Spain
Thursday, July 27 at 5:30pm IST - India W vs South Africa
Friday, July 28 at 3:30pm IST - India W vs England
Sunday, July 30 at 3:30pm IST - Final