Hockey India on Friday announced the 22-member Indian women’s hockey team for the upcoming 5 Nations Tournament Valencia 2023, scheduled to be held from December 15 to 22 in Valencia, Spain.

India will play Ireland, Germany, Spain and Belgium in the tournament which will serve as the preparatory assignment ahead of the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers Ranchi 2024 set to begin from January 13, 2024.

Goalkeeper Savita has been named the captain with experienced campaigner Vandana Katariya as the vice-captain of the team.

The team includes Bichu Devi Kharibam in the squad along with Savita as goalkeepers while the backline will see the return of Gurjit Kaur along with, Nikki Pradhan, Udita, Ishika Chaudhary and Akshata Abaso Dhekale in the list of defenders.

The midfield consists of Nisha, Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, Monika, Salima Tete, Neha, Navneet Kaur, Sonika, Jyoti and Baljeet Kaur. The forward line features Jyoti Chhatri, Sangita Kumari, Deepika, Vandana Katariya, Beauty Dungdung and Sharmila Devi.

Speaking on the team selection, chief coach Janneke Schopman said, “We are going with a well-balanced, strong team. The tournament gives the players an ideal platform to build on the recent performances and keep themselves in the right frame of mind heading into the Olympic qualifiers.”

“The matches against the top European teams will also help us identify areas that need improvement ahead of the tournament, and we are looking forward to making the most out of the opportunity,” she added.

Indian Team for 5 Nations Tournament

Goalkeepers: Savita (C), Bichu Devi Kharibam

Defenders: Nikki Pradhan, Udita, Ishika Chaudhary, Gurjit Kaur, Akshata Abaso Dhekale

Midfielders: Nisha, Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, Monika, Salima Tete, Neha, Navneet Kaur, Sonika, Jyoti, Baljeet Kaur

Forwards: Jyoti Chhatri, Sangita Kumari, Deepika, Vandana Katariya (VC), Beauty Dundung, Sharmila Devi