Hockey India on Tuesday named a 20-member national women’s team for the tour of Europe, which includes matches in Germany followed by a four-nation tournament in Spain, starting July 16.
Both events will be part of the team’s preparations ahead of the all-important Hangzhou Asian Games, scheduled to begin in September.
India will first play three Test matches in Germany, one against China and two against the hosts from the July 16 to 19.
The team will then travel to Spain, where it will play against South Africa, England and the hosts from July 25-30 in the 100th anniversary Spanish Hockey Federation-International Tournament in Terrassa.
The squad is largely unchanged from the team’s previous assignment which was the tour of Australia in May.
The Indian team will be once again led by ace goalkeeper Savita while Deep Grace Ekka will be her deputy.
Veteran defender Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam and forward Deepika, who had been rested for the tour of Australia, have returned to the the squad.
Midfielder Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, who has represented India in three games, also makes a comeback.
The Indian squad has been training at the national camp in Bengaluru.
Bichu Devi Kharibam is the second goalkeeper named in the squad, while the defenders picked for the tours are Deep Grace Ekka, Nikki Pradhan, Ishika Chaudhary, Udita, and Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam.
In the midfield, the team boasts a formidable lineup consisting of Nisha, Monika, Salima Tete, Neha, Navneet Kaur, Sonika, Baljeet Kaur, Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, and Jyoti Chhatri.
India’s forward line will be spearheaded by the experienced Vandana Katariya. She will be joined by Lalremsiami, Sangita Kumari and Deepika.
Chief Coach Janneke Schopman said, “The Spain and Germany tours will be a great opportunity for our team to show its ability and skills on an international stage again and to continue our preparation for the Asian Games.
“Both tours will be a perfect platform for us to test ourselves against strong opponents.The tours will also be crucial for us in regards to the upcoming Asian Games as they will provide us with valuable insights and help us identify areas where we can further enhance our performance,” she added.
Goalkeepers: Savita (C), Bichu Devi Kharibam.
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (VC), Nikki Pradhan, Ishika Chaudhary, Udita, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam.
Midfielders: Nisha, Monika, Salima Tete, Neha, Navneet Kaur, Sonika, Baljeet Kaur, Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, Jyoti Chhatri.
Forwards: Lalremsiami, Vandana Katariya, Sangita Kumari, Deepika.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)