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Hockey India names 18-member women's squad for Olympic Test Event

[File photo] Indian Women's Hockey team. Photograph:( IANS )

ANI New Delhi, India Jul 26, 2019, 08.47 PM (IST)

Hockey India on Friday announced an 18-member women's squad for the upcoming Olympic Test Event in Japan.

Rani Rampal will lead the Indian team and Savita is appointed as the vice-captain of the squad.

Under chief coach Sjoerd Marijne, the composition of the team has remained similar to the one which participated at the FIH Women's Series Finals in Hiroshima last month, with the Dutchman having opted for only two changes in the 18-member team selected for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 Test Event.

Youngsters Sharmila Devi and Reena Khokhar have come into the team, with Sunita Lakra and Jyoti giving way. Khokhar had been sidelined due to injury but makes a comeback into the side after recovering successfully, while Sharmila Devi will be expecting to make her debut for the national side.

The Indian team, currently ranked number ten in the FIH rankings will be facing tough challenges as they will be playing against the likes of world number two Australia, world number 11 China and hosts Japan who is currently ranked 14th in the FIH rankings.

"We are looking forward to playing three top countries at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 Test Event as I rate them all highly. We have selected a squad of 18 players where only 16 players will be allowed to play in accordance to the Olympic standards," said chief coach Sjoerd Marijne.

"I will be very interested to see how we fare against these countries, and what we need to improve for the FIH Olympic Qualifiers because everything that we do, will be focused on that. We will be learning good lessons in this tour regardless of whatever happens," Marijine added.

Indian Women's Hockey Team for the Olympic Test Event is as follows: Rani (c), Nisha (vc), Savita (GK), Rajani Etimarpu (GK), Deep Grace Ekka, Reena Khokhar, Gurjit Kaur, Salima Tete, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Lilima Minz, Neha Goyal, Navneet Kaur, Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur, and Sharmila Devi. The Olympic Test event is scheduled to be held between August 17 to 21 in Japan.