Rani Rampal returns to action as India name 22-member women squad for South Africa tour
Bengaluru : Veteran star and former captain Rani Rampal returns to international hockey as Hockey India on Thursday announced the Indian women’s hockey team squad for the upcoming tour of South Africa, set to begin on January 16, 2023, in Cape Town.
The veteran forward will be back in the squad for the first time since FIH Women’s Hockey Pro League 2021/22 match against Belgium, Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, who led the Indian women’s junior team at the Uniphar U23 5 Nations Tournament 2022 in May, has received her maiden call for the Senior team.
On the tour, India, who recently won the inaugural edition of the FIH Women’s Nations Cup 2022 in Valencia, will play four matches against South Africa, and three matches against the Netherlands between January 16 to 38, 2023.
Goalkeeper Savita continues to be the captain for the tour with experienced campaigner Navneet Kaur as the Vice-Captain of the team. Speaking on the tour, Indian women’s hockey yeam chief coach Janneke Schopman said.
“The South Africa tour is a brilliant opportunity for us to build on our performance of the Nations Cup. Playing both South Africa as well as The Netherlands on this tour provides us with everything we need to learn about ourselves come the Asian Games.”
rPlaying the World number 1 Netherlands will most likely expose our vulnerabilities and will also show where we are with our performance and growth. Playing South Africa, where we most likely will have more of the ball, will give us the opportunity to improve in ball possession areas,” she added.
Indian women’s hockey team squad:
Goalkeepers: Savita (Captain), Bichu Devi Kharibam; Defenders: Nikki Pradhan, Udita, Ishika Chaudhary. Gurjit Kaur; Midfielders: Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, P. Sushila Chanu, Nisha, Salima Tete, Monika, Neha, Sonika, Baljeet Kaur; Forward: Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur (Vice-Captain), Vandana Katariya, Sangita Kumari, Beauty Dungdung, Rani, Reena Khokhar, Sharmila Devi
Schedule for Tour of South Africa (All matches will begin at 1830 hrs IST):
Jan 16t 2023: South Africa vs India
Janu 17: South Africa vs India
Jan 19t: South Africa vs India
Jan 21: South Africa vs India
Jan 22: Netherlands vs India
Jan 27: Netherlands vs India
Jan 28: Netherlands vs India.