High on its win against China in the fourth women’s Asian Champions Trophy, the Indian women’s hockey team is looking to put its best feet forward in the Test Series with Australia, starting from November 23 in Melbourne. Forward player and captain, Vandana Kataria will again lead the team. Sunita Lakra will be the vice-captain.
Players Rajani Etimarpu from Andhra Pradesh and Savita Punia from Haryana will continue to be the goalkeepers as they are the best in the business. And Deep Grace Ekka, Salima Tete, Rashmita Minz, Navdeep Kaur and Sunita Lakra will guard the back line to defend the goal.
Mid-fielders Rani, Deepika, Nikki Pradhan, Navjot Kaur, Monika and Karishma Yadav are in-form and remain an unchanged in terms of form and position. Hockey India has also called out on the strikers list having seasoned players Poonam Rani, Anuradha Devi Thokchom, Vandana Kataria, Preeti Dubey and Sonika in the team that’s flying off to Australia.
“After the Rio Olympics, the team is playing with a fresh perspective and attitude towards the game. The recent win in Singapore goes to show that the team is eager to do well against best of the teams in the world and would continue doing well against Australia in their home turf. This will give us a lot of confidence going forward in the new Olympic cycle,” Vandana said in a statement to PTI.
Vandana is a promising player for the team. She had topped the country for the highest number of goals in 2013 and helping the junior women’s team win a bronze medal in World Cup held in Germany. The 24-year-old player was born in a small village in Haridwar district and she has scored more than 35 goals in 130 matches that she played with the national team.
Picture credit- India Today