Rani Rampal Named Skipper of Indian Women’s Hockey Team For New Zealand Tour


Hockey India announced a 20-member team squad for the Indian women’s hockey team’s tour of New Zealand starting in Auckland on January 25. Star Striker Rani Rampal will lead the squad in New Zealand while Indian goalkeeper Savita Punia will be her deputy.

India is scheduled to play their first match on tour with the New Zealand Development squad on 25 January. After facing the youth team Indian women’s team will face the Vantage Black Sticks, on 27 and 29 January. The Indian team is also scheduled to lock horn with Britain on February 4. The Indian women’s team will conclude the tour with the last match of the tour against New Zealand on 5 February.rani-rampal-captain-of-woman-hockey-team

India’s head coach Shored Marin commented on the upcoming tour said that he is looking forward to using the tour to create competition within the team. He said, “I want to use this tour to create more competition within this group. Although we are taking a 20-member team, in some matches we will use only 16 players because we play with 16 players at the Olympics and in some matches, we will play 18 members.” Marin further added that he is also going to analyze players’ performance under pressure and said that the players will have to do their best under pressure.

marin-on-indian-hockey-team“The players have to show their best and I want to see how they perform under pressure and stay in the right rhythm, Marin said.

Marin emphasized that this is going to be an important tour for the Indian side as playing against World number 5 Great Britain and world number 6 New Zealand will hand them an opportunity to show their fearless game and attitude.

The team led by Rani and vice-captained by Savita consists of three players from Odisha namely Deep Grace Ekka, Namita Toppo and Lilima Minz. The other players who are named in the squad are Rajini Etimarpu, Gurjit Kaur, Reena Khokhar, Salima Tete, Sushila Chanu, Nisha, Udita, Monika, Neha, Sonika, Sharmila Devi, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Vandana Katariya, Navjot Kaur.