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Rani to lead Indian women's hockey team at Commonwealth Games

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Ace striker Rampal will captain an 18-strong Indian women's team, while will shoulder the duties of at next month's in Gold Coast, said today.

The Indian team has been grouped in Pool A along with Malaysia, Wales, England and at the multi-sport event scheduled to begin on April 4. will begin their campaign on April 5 against

27-year-old Savita, who is making a return to the team after having been rested for the recently concluded tour of South Korea, will be accompanied by Rajani Etimarpu in goal.

The defence unit is packed with experience and grit as Deepika, Sunita Lakra, Deep Grace Ekka, and will look to keep out the opposition's attacks.

Monika, Namita Toppo, Nikki Pradhan, Neha Goyal and Lilima Minz will form the midfield while Rani, Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur, and Poonam Rani, who returned to the squad during tour, will form India's attack.

The Indian team is currently ranked No. 10 in the world and will face stiff competition from higher ranked teams such as World No. 2 England, World No. 4 and World No. 5 hosts

However, Chief is confident that the determined team can cause huge upsets on the back of winning the five-match series in

We have played with the same set of players for a long period so the players have formed a great understanding among themselves which was evident during our 2017 Asia Cup triumph," he said.

"The team also performed well in to beat a higher-ranked side and we will be looking to cause a few upsets and aim for the podium as the morale is high going into the prestigious 2018 XXI

The also welcomed the inclusion of the Savita, who is currently in undergoing a Goalkeeping coaching course.

The Junior Men's World said, is an integral part of the team and brings a lot of experience in goal for us. She has played over 200 matches for her country and has performed in crucial matches of big tournaments. Therefore, it is good to have her back in the team as she helps the defensive and offensive players as well by imparting her expertise.

The Indian Women's team had won the gold medal at in England after defeating the hosts 3-2 after extra-time in the final match, and bagged the silver medal in the subsequent in

However, the team has only managed to finish 5th in the 2010 and 2014 editions of the quadrennial tournament.

Skipper is confident that her team can repeat the feat of 2002 and 2006 in

"We go into the tournament in good form after winning the series in South Korea and while we have only finished fifth in the two previous occasions, this time we will look to finish on the podium," the 23-year-old said.

"We have a great set of players with a mixture of experience and youth. The team's hunger to win will certainly be a key factor in us performing well at the Games.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: (VC), Rajani Etimarpu


Defenders: Deepika, Sunita Lakra, Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur,

Midfielders: Monika, Namita Toppo, Nikki Pradhan, Neha Goyal, Lilima Minz.

Forwards: (C), Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur, Navneet Kaur,

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 14 2018. 11:55 IST
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