While expecting a podium finish in this year’s Women’s World Cup might be overambitious, it is important to note that this is the first time in eight years that the Indian women’s hockey team will participate at the prestigious World Cup and no other player in the current squad apart from skipper Rani and Deepika have ever played at a World Cup before.

“It is a plus point for us that this team barring only three or four players have been playing together for over two years now and have had good international exposure with many of them having more than 100 or 150 plus international caps for India,” said Rani Rampal.

The team will be led by Rani, while experienced goalkeeper Savita has been named as the vice captain.India’s defence will consist of the experienced Deep Grace Ekka, Sunita Lakra, Deepika, Reena Khokhar and dragflicker Gurjit Kaur while the team’s midfield will have Namita Toppo, Lilima Minz, Monika, Udita, Nikki Pradhan and Neha Goyal.

The forward-line will be led by the skipper Rani, who has over 200 international caps. She will be supported by Vandana Katariya, who also completed 200 international caps for India at the recently held Spain tour.

Young striker Lalremsiami will be joined by Navneet Kaur and Navjot Kaur, who have had a good showing in the recent tournaments.

“The team is extremely excited and we have waited for this moment ever since we won the Asia Cup last year. For almost everyone on the team, this will be a first-time experience to be playing at the World Cup,” said the excited skipper.

Full Squad:

Goalkeepers: Savita (Vice-Captain), Rajani Etimarpu

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

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

Forwards: Rani Rampal (Captain), Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Navjot Kaur.

India are grouped in Pool B along side Olympic champions England, World No 7 USA and Ireland. India will take on hosts England in their first match on 21 July, 

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