The Hockey India on Tuesday announced a 20-member Indian Women’s Hockey Team for their tour of Germany and also for the four-nation tournament to be played in Spain for the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Spanish Hockey Federation. Both the tournaments will be very good preparation for the Indian eves ahead of the all-important Asian Games scheduled in Hangzhou, China.
The Indian women’s team will play three Test matches in Germany. Out of which two will be against the host nation, while one will be against China. The team play these matches in Germany from 16th to 19th July 2023 before moving to Spain for the four-nation tournament.
In Spain, the Indian eves will face South Africa, England and the hosts from July 25 to 30 in Terrassa celebrating the 100th year anniversary of the Spanish Hockey Federation.
The Indian women’s hockey team has that right balance of experience and youth and the players have been monitored closely by the coaching team during their National Coaching Camp at SAI Centre in Bengaluru. The players are striving for excellence and are looking to take this team ahead in all departments. So the tour will be a very important factor before the Asian Games.
Ace goalkeeper Savita Punia continues to lead the team and she will be well assisted by experienced defender Deep Grace Ekka, who has been named as the vice-captain. Bichu Devi Kharibam will continue to be Savita’s understudy. Grace Ekka will lead the defence along with other defenders such as Nikki Pradhan, Ishika Chaudhary, Udita, and Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam. India will have to be very solid at the back as it is the only way they can get favourable results.
The Indian midfielder is very well-rounded and balanced as there are players will multiple different skills covering the major aspects of the game. The selected midfielders include Nisha, Monika, Salima Tete, Neha, Navneet Kaur, Sonika, Baljeet Kaur, Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, and Jyoti Chhatri.
India are over-reliant on their star forward Vandana Katariya to score the bulk of the goals and she will aim to do so. But to help her in performing her duties, here are the other forwards in Lalremsiami, Sangita Kumari and Deepika.
Head coach Janneke Schopman sounded very confident as she believes that these foreign tours will test the Indian team massively ahead of Hangzhou Asian Games 2023. The Dutch head coach is planning to use these tours to assess the team and the areas that need work before the crucial events.
“The Spain and Germany tours will be a great opportunity for our team to show their ability and skills on an international stage again and to continue our preparation for the Asian Games. I am excited as the players are performing at a high level this camp and they have been working tirelessly to improve their game and both tours will be a perfect platform for us to test ourselves against strong opponents. We will focus on maintaining a strong team unity and executing our strategies. Our goal is to play our own game and utilize the learnings of this camp and last tour,” Schopman stated.
The tours will also be crucial for us in regard 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. It’s important for us to learn from each match and grow as a team,” she highlighted.