Veteran goalkeeper Savita Punia is set to lead India's 18-member team in the Women's Asia Cup hockey tournament to be held in Muscat from January 21 to 28. Veteran Deep Grace Ekka has been appointed vice-captain. The 18-member team announced by Hockey India on Wednesday has only 16 Tokyo Olympic athletes. Regular captain Rani Rampal has started recovering from injury in Bengaluru. So, she could not be included in the team. India has been placed in Pool A along with Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.
The Indian team is scheduled to defend their title against Malaysia on the first day of the tournament. The top four teams in the competition are likely to qualify for the World Cup 2022 in Spain and the Netherlands.
The women's tournament is scheduled to be played in Muscat from January 21 to 28. Rani has not been included in the 18-member squad due to injury. The Indian team is set to fight against Malaysia on 21st. Twice the Indian team has now won the trophy till (2004, 2017). In the previous edition in 2017, India defeated China 5-4 in a penalty shootout to clinch the title.
Goalkeepers: Savita Punia (captain), Rajani Etimarpu
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (vice-captain), Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita
Midfielders: Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Neha, Salima Tete, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur
Forwards: Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Vandana Katariya, Mariana Kujur, Sharmila Devi
Replacement players: Deepika, Ishika Chaudhary.
Schedule of India-
vs Malaysia January 21
vs Japan January 23
vs Singapore January 24
Semi-finals January 26
Final January 28