Defender Sushila Chanu, who missed the 2018 World Cup and the Asian Games due to injury, is among India’s 18-member squad for the season opener against Spain.

Rani Rampal will lead the side. Veteran goalkeeper Savita Punia also made the cut.

India will play four matches against Spain and two against the 2018 World Cup runners-up Ireland.

The team includes goalkeepers, Savita and Rajani Etimarpu. India have also inlcluded young defender Salima Tete, who led the the U-18 team to a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

The Indian backline has a lot of experience in Deep Grace Ekka, Reena Khokhar, Nikki Pradhan and drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur.

The midfield features Lilima Minz, Karishma Yadav, Sonika and Neha Goyal. And the forward-line has Rani, Vandana Katariya, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Udita and Navjot Kaur.

“The team has a different mix of players this time with some of the key players like Sunita Lakra, Namita Toppo among few other experienced players being rested. The idea was to give more players a chance to experience playing at a top level so we can create more depth in our selection ahead of the Olympic Qualifiers,”said coach Sjoerd Marijne.

The Indian team will leave for Spain on 24 January from Bengaluru where they have been training for the past two weeks for the National Camp.


Goalkeepers: Savita, Rajani Etimarpu

Defenders: Reena Khokhar, Deep Grace Ekka, Salima Tete, Nikki Pradhan, Gurjit Kaur, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam

Midfielders: Lilima Minz, Karishma Yadav, Sonika, Neha Goyal.
Forwards: Rani, Vandana Katariya, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Udita, Navjot Kaur.