Test series will prepare us for World League Round 2: Rani

New Delhi: The Indian Women’s Hockey Team today left for Italy to play a series of tests against the hosts, in preparation for the World League Round 2 scheduled to be held here in March next year.

The series against Italy is scheduled for December 3?12 with the opening match to get underway on Thursday.

Stressing on the importance of the series, captain Ritu Rani said: “We are confident of this series, but more important is the challenge of the World League Round 2 as that will decide if we qualify for World League Round 3 and an opportunity for the Rio Olympics.

“Hence this series is important as it gives the entire team an opportunity to work on team coordination on the field and work on the loopholes before March next year,” she said.

Before leaving for Italy, chief coach, Neil Hawgood said, “This series against Italy is an important series for the team as this will help them understand their flaws and work on it before they enter the World League Round 2 next year.

“I am sure this team will put up a good show in Italy and I hope they continue this in their upcoming tournaments too in the coming future. I am happy the way this team has shaped up in the last two and a half years and I see them growing from here,” he said.

India will be seen playing their first match on December 4 followed by matches on December 6, 7, 9 and 11.

List of Players:

Goalkeepers: 1. Savita 2. Rajani Etimarpu

Defenders: 3. Deep Grace Ekka 4. Jaspreet Kaur 5. Sushila Chanu 6. M N Ponnamma 7. Sunita Lakra 8. Namita Toppo 9.

Manjit Kaur

Midfielders: 10. Deepika ? Vice Captain 11. Lilima Minz 12. Ritu Rani- Captain 13. Lily Chanu 14. Navjot Kaur 15.

Amandeep Kaur

Forwards: 16. Poonam Rani 17. Vandana Katariya 18. Soundarya Yendala.