Indian women’s hockey team goalkeeping stalwart Savita will continue to lead the team while Deep Grace Ekka will be her deputy during the FIH Pro League games against Spain in Bhubaneswar, Odisha on February 26 and 27.
Hockey India on Monday named a 22-member squad for the weekend matches, with promising young forward Sangita Kumari from Jharkhand — who has made an impression during her stint with the junior India side — included.
Chief coach Janneke Schopman said she was happy with the improvement shown by the new players.
“We are excited to kick off our home Pro League games against Spain. We had two good training weeks after our return from Oman and I believe the selected 22 players will be ready to show what they can against Spain. When you have a strong pool of players, team selection always becomes difficult but I am happy to see that the new players are improving a lot and showing a lot of promise,” said Schopman.
“Spain is a strong opponent, they have consistently performed at a high level only narrowly missing out on the Semi Finals in Tokyo and clinching the Bronze medal in the last World Cup. They are very skilful and play from a tight defence, so we are looking to use our own speed and skills and strong defence to compete well against them.”
Goalkeepers — Savita (Captain), Bichu Devi Kharibam, Rajani Etimarpu.
Defenders — Deep Grace Ekka (vice-captain), Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita, Ishika Chaudhary.
Midfielders — Nisha, Salima Tete, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Jyoti, Monika, Neha, Navjot Kaur, Namita Toppo.
Forwards — Vandana Katariya, Sharmila Devi, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Sangita Kumari, Rajwinder Kaur.
Standbys — Rashmita Minz, Akshata Abaso Dhekale, Sonika, Mariana Kujur, Aishwarya Rajesh Chavan.