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Odishatv Bureau

Two women hockey players from Odisha- Ajmina Kujur and Jiwan Kishori Toppo-have made it to the 20-member Indian squad for the FIH Hockey Women's Junior World Cup 2022 to be played in South Africa.

Mid-fielder Salima Tete has been named captain of the 20-member Indian team for the WC, starting in Potchefstroom, South Africa on April 1.

Defender Ishika Chadhary will serve as Tete's deputy for the tournament which was postponed from December last year to 2022 due to the omicron-threat in South Africa.

Mid-fielders Sharmila Devi, Lalremsiami, who were part of the Indian women's team that finished fourth in the Tokyo Olympics, are also in the squad.

The Indian team has been grouped in pool D along with Germany, Malaysia and Wales.

They will kick-start their campaign on April 2 with their first match against Wales followed by their game against Germany a day later on April 3 with their last group-stage match is scheduled for April 5 against Malaysia.

The quarterfinals will be held on April 8 whereas the semifinals are scheduled for April 10. The final will be played on April 12.

The squad consists of goalkeepers Bichu Devi Kharibam, who recently made her senior India debut at the FIH Hockey Pro League matches against Germany, and Khushboo.

The defenders include Marina Lalramnghaki, Preeti, Priyanka, Chaudhary and Akshata Abaso Dekhale, who also made her Senior India debut against Germany at the recently held Pro League matches in Bhubaneswar.
Reet, Ajmina Kujur, Baljeet Kaur and Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke will form the Indian midfield along with Tete, Sharmila and Lalremsiami.

The forwardline will feature Lalrindiki, Jiwan Kishori Toppo, Mumtaz Khan, Beauty Dungdung, Deepika and Sangita Kumari, who also made her senior debut recently.

Speaking about the team, Chief Coach Janneke Schopman said, "After a long wait our junior players are definitely ready to start their Junior World Cup experience. It was difficult to finalize the selection as all players showed a lot of progress in the past months which is great to see.

"With a couple of players making their debut for the Senior Team in the Pro League recently, I believe that the added experience will have a positive influence.

"The team overall has a nice mixture of different skills and talents and am excited to see them taking on the best teams in the world at U21 level," Schopman added.

The Indian junior women's team's best show in recent times was at the 2013 edition of the World Cup when it finished on the podium with a bronze medal beating nemesis England in a shootout.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Bichu Devi Kharibam, Khushboo

Defenders: Marina Lalramnghaki, Preeti, Priyanka, Ishika Chaudhary (Vice Captain), Akshata Abaso Dekhale

Midfielders: Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, Salima Tete (Captain), Reet, Ajmina Kujur, Sharmila Devi, Lalremsiami, Baljeet Kaur

Forwards: Lalrindiki, Jiwan Kishori Toppo, Mumtaz Khan, Beauty Dungdung, Deepika, Sangita Kumari

Standbys: Madhuri Kindo, Neelam, Manju Chorsiya, Rutuja Dadaso Pisal, Annu.

(With PTI Inputs)

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