Last year was one to remember for the Indian women’s hockey team as they won Asia Cup and proved that if given full support the team can do wonders in the upcoming tournaments. With major events lined up this year – Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and the World Cup – it is the best time for the women’s hockey team to prove their mettle to the world. The next big task cut out for coach Harendra Singh’s team, however, are the Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, Australia next month.
Ace striker Rani Rampal, who led the team to win the Asia Cup 2017 beating China 5-4 in the tense shoot-out, will captain the 18-member team, while experienced goalkeeper Savita will shoulder the duties of vice-captain.
Following the Asia Cup win, India gained two places in the ranking table and are currently ranked No. 10 in the world.
After the win at 2002 Commonwealth Games in England, where India defeated the hosts 3-2 after extra-time in the final match, they bagged the silver medal in the subsequent 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
However, the team has only managed to finish 5th in the 2010 and 2014 editions of the quadrennial tournament.
The Games will begin on April 4 and India, who have been placed in Pool A along with Malaysia, Wales, England, and South Africa will begin their campaign on April 5 against Wales.
Goalkeepers: Savita (vice-capt), Rajani Etimarpu
Defenders: Deepika, Sunita Lakra, Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam
Midfielders: Monika, Namita Toppo, Nikki Pradhan, Neha Goyal, Lilima Minz
Forwards: Rani (capt), Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur, Navneet Kaur, Poonam Rani.