New Delhi, May 21 (IANS): Goalkeeping stalwart Savita will be the captain, while Deep Grace Ekka will be the vice-captain of the Indian women's team for the upcoming FIH Hockey Pro League games against Belgium, Argentina and USA.
Hockey India on Saturday named a 24-member side for the matches to be played in Belgium and Netherlands in June ahead of the FIH Hockey Women's World Cup.
India are scheduled to play hosts Belgium on June 11 and 12, followed by matches against Argentina on June 18 and 19 and the United States on June 21 and 22.
While the team list includes Junior World Cup stars Bichu Devi Kharibam, Ishika Chaudhary, Akshata Abaso Dhekale, Baljeet Kaur, Sangita Kumari and Deepika, the league is also likely to witness experienced striker Rani's return to action after she made her last appearance at the Tokyo Olympic Games last year. She was in rehab to recover from a prolonged hamstring injury.
Talking about the team, chief coach Janneke Schopman said, "This is going to be a very important leg of Pro League matches in Europe as it will give us insights into our progress ahead of the World Cup in July. These matches are going to be critical in also finalising our team for the World Cup.
"This is a good, well-balanced squad with a mix of some very experienced players and youngsters who have shown great promise after their Junior World Cup outing. I am very interested to find out how they will play in European conditions against quality sides like Belgium, Argentina and US," Schopman added.
The Indian women's team is currently in No.1 position on the Pro League points table.
Goalkeepers: Savita (Captain), Bichu Devi Kharibam.
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (Vice-Captain), Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita, Ishika Chaudhary, Akshata Abaso Dhekale.
Midfielders: Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Neha, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur, Sonika, Salima Tete, Baljeet Kaur.
Forwards: Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Sharmila Devi, Sangita Kumari, Deepika, Rani.