Harmanpreet and Co will take on Australia while Savita Punia and Co to take on Ghana on the opening day.
The Indian contingent will begin their Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 campaign on Friday, July 29, 2022, with a plethora of top stars set to feature on Day One of the competitions. All eyes will be on the Indian women’s cricket team, led by Harmanpreet Kaur, who are up against the mighty Australians in their first group stage match.
Besides the women cricketers, India’s women’s hockey team will also start their campaign on Friday. The Indian eves put up an exceptional show at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the nation will have high hopes from Janneke Schopman’s team. Besides that, the youngest member of the contingent, 14-year-old squash prodigy Anahat Singh will also be seen in action on an opening day.
Speaking about the preparations, Team India Chef de Mission Rajesh Bhandari said, “All athletes scheduled to participate on Day One including the cricket and hockey teams have had hassle-free training sessions and are looking in good shape for the CWG campaign.”
India currently ranks fourth in the all-time CWG medal table. Going ahead in the 2022 Birmingham Games, they will be aiming to at least match their 66-medal haul from the previous Gold Coast edition, given sports like Archery and Shooting, traditionally strong disciplines for India, have not found a place in these Games.
India had finished third in Gold Coast, with as many as 26 gold, 20 silver and 20 bronze medals in their kitty.
Eager to do better – Captain Savita Punia
The Indian Women’s Hockey Team is all set to kick off their Commonwealth Games 2022 being held in Birmingham against Ghana in their first game in Pool A on 29 July.
The Indian Women’s Hockey team finished fourth in the 2018 edition of the Commonwealth Games; however, the current squad is eager to do better this time around.
Savita, the Captain of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team before their game against Ghana, said during the virtual press conference on Thursday, “The whole squad is eagerly waiting to kickstart our campaign in Birmingham, as we want to make this Commonwealth Games special. We were disappointed with our performance in the last edition of the tournament, but this time around we will definitely look to do better.
The Captain also added, “We are confident about our chances to clinch a Medal and a resounding win against Ghana will provide the perfect start to our 2022 Commonwealth Games campaign.”
The only other time the Indian Women’s Hockey team has faced Ghana was in the World League Round 2 back in 2014-15 that was held in India, which saw the Indian Women’s Hockey team defeat Ghana 13-0.
We will look to outplay Ghana – Vice Captain Grace Ekka
Vice-Captain Deep Grace Ekka also spoke about the match against Ghana, “Our preparations have been fantastic for the game against Ghana, our flawless record against them will serve as a great confidence booster for the squad ahead of the match. We will look to outplay Ghana from the first whistle to make sure we can beat them as convincingly as we did last time.”
Deep Grace Ekka also briefly spoke about their game plan also “We will look to move the ball quickly so that we can penetrate the Ghanian defence. For the last couple of years, we have been playing an aggressive style and we would look to continue in the same fashion.”
Ekka further added, “Our squad has some amazing young players, and I am always looking to help them out. I always advise them to play a simple game so that they avoid unnecessary pressure, as it was the best advice I got as a young player and I think this will be crucial for us at the Commonwealth Games.”