Former captain and veteran forward Bala Devi returned to the national team as head coach Thomas Dennerby announced a 22-member squad for the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou on Sunday.
Devi returns to the team after a four-year hiatus after injury. She last played for India in the South Asian Games in Kathmandu in 2019.
India, ranked 61st in the Fifa Rankings are placed in Group B alongside Chinese Taipei (ranked 38th) and Thailand (ranked 46th).
According to a release by the All India Football Federation on Sunday, the 17 participating teams have been divided into five groups. Groups A, B, and C have three teams each, while Groups D and E have four teams apiece. The five group winners and three best second-placed teams will qualify for the quarter-finals.
The women’s football tournament at the Asian Games is contested between the full senior national teams, with no age restrictions. The Indian women’s team have participated in the Asian Games twice previously – Bangkok 1998 and Incheon 2014.
Indian Women’s Football Squad:
Goalkeepers: Shreya Hooda, Sowmiya Narayanasamy, Panthoi Chanu.
Defenders: Ashalata Devi, Sweety Devi, Ritu Rani, Dalima Chhibber, Astam Oraon, Sanju, Ranjana Chanu.
Midfielders: Sangita Basfore, Priyangka Devi, Indumathi Kathiresan, Anju Tamang, Soumya Guguloth, Dangmei Grace.
Forwards: Pyari Xaxa, Jyoti, Renu, Bala Devi, Manisha, Sandhiya Ranganathan.