Bhubaneswar: Four women from Odisha are among the 18-member Indian Women’s Hockey team selected for the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018, slated to begin on July 21.
The four women selected on Friday are defenders Deep Grace Ekka and Sunita Lakra and midfielders Namita Toppo and Lilima Minz.
Rani will lead the team while goalkeeper Savita will serve as the vice-captain.
Team India has been placed in Pool B along with hosts and World No. 2 England, World No. 7 USA and World No. 16 Ireland.
Other members selected are: Defenders- Deepika, drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur, youngster Reena Khokhar; midfielders- Monika, Neha Goyal, Navjot Kaur, Nikki Pradhan; while Vandana Katariya, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami and Udita will support Captain Rani to attack.
Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne said selecting the 18-member team was no easy task. “All the core probables have worked really hard in the National Camp. However, we feel that this 18-member team will be the best mixture to be successful at the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018,” the coach added.
On the team’s balance, the Dutchman said they have a good blend of experience and youth and that the focus is on the first match against England. “In order to reach our first goal of qualifying for the quarter finals, we can only think about the first match against the hosts. The team is excited and confident of starting well against them in front of a packed stadium,” Marijne further said.