Savita to lead India women’s hockey team in Malaysia

Hockey India on Wednesday named the 18-member Indian Women’s Hockey Team for the five-match Series in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia starting 4 April 2019. The eight-day tour will see Savita lead the team along with Deep Grace Ekka as the Vice-Captain.

Savita will be joined by Rajani Etimarpu as goalkeepers for India. The defence line-up includes youngster Salima Tete, Reena Khokar, Deep Grace Ekka, Rashmita Minz, and Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam along with Sunita Lakra who is making a comeback into the squad after missing the Spain Tour.

In the midfield, experienced Monika returns from injury as she joins Karishma Yadav, Nikki Pradhan, Neha Goyal and Lilima Minz. The forwardline includes Jyoti, Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur and Navneet Kaur.

Speaking about the tour ahead of 2020 Olympic Qualifying events, Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne said, “One of the things we wanted to improve after the Spain Tour was our One Vs One defending and create more opportunities after we intercept the ball. These are the two key areas we want to focus on in Malaysia and we keep working on individual consistency of players.”

In the absence of Skipper Rani, experienced Namita Toppo and dragflicker Gurjit Kaur, Marijne said, it is an opportunity that the youngsters must make use of for their future prospects. “Young players get to show their best performance on international level and it’s important for us in case of creating depth in the selection.”

Indian Women’s Team:

Goalkeeper:  

  1. Rajani Etimarpu
  2. Savita

Defenders:  

  1. Salima Tete
  2. Sunita Lakra
  3. Deep Grace Ekka
  4. Reena Khokhar
  5. Rashmita Minz
  6. Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam

Midfielders:

  1. Monika
  2. Karishma Yadav
  3. Nikki Pradhan
  4. Neha Goyal
  5. Lilima Minz

Forwards:

  1. Jyoti
  2. Vandana Katariya
  3. Lalremsiami
  4. Navjot Kaur
  5. Navneet Kaur