Both teams will face each other twice in two days.

The Indian women’s hockey team will start their FIH Pro League campaign with a double-header against China. The matches will take place in Muscat, Oman, which played host to the 2022 Women’s Asia Cup recently. Australia and New Zealand withdrew from the tournament, citing the COVID-19 pandemic. India were one of the countries picked as a replacement. 

There are a total of nine teams in the round-robin stage of the FIH Pro League. Only the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium have played matches as of yet. India and China are set to kick-start their campaigns, when they clash on Monday (31 January) and Tuesday (1 February) respectively. Here is what is in store for hockey enthusiasts in the two upcoming fixtures between the two Asian countries:

Team India

The Indian women’s hockey team saw a lot of praise come their way due to the fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics. They entered the Women’s Asia Cup 2022 as favourites for the title, after winning the previous edition. However, two major wins over Malaysia (9-0) and Singapore (9-1) were overshadowed by defeats to Japan (2-0) and South Korea (3-2). 

The semi-final defeat to the Koreans meant India could only finish third by beating China in the playoff. They achieved the podium finish by emerging 2-0 winners against the Chinese, thanks to goals from Sharmila Devi and Gurjit Kaur. This makes them more likely to secure victory in the upcoming encounters.

Team China

China defeated Indonesia and Thailand in Pool B of the Asia Cup to secure a place in the semi-finals. They went on to lose the match against Japan 2-1, who were the eventual winners of the competition. The third-place playoff saw China come up against India, with a place in the FIH World Cup already secured.

China’s performance against India was impressive, regardless of the end result. Despite a 2-0 defeat, the outfit put India under a lot of pressure and came close to scoring on several occasions. They will be relying on players like Zhong Mengling to bag goals in the upcoming matches of the FIH Pro League. She got three goals for the team in the Asia Cup. 

Key Players

Gurjit Kaur (India)

FIH Favourite Match of 2021
Kaur will be India’s top weapon against China (Courtesy- Olympics)

India are a strong force from penalty-corners and their main taker is Gurjit Kaur. The powerful defender has a mean drag-flick, which comes at a piercing speed and accuracy. She bagged four goals during the Asia Cup, which was the most from the Indian team. The outfit will hope that the penalty conversion percentage stays high by the player because she is a major source of goals. Moreover, Gurjit is the organizer in defence and reads the game well. Her expertise in defence will be crucial to keep the opposition attackers at bay in the FIH Pro League.

Zhong Mengling (China)

Zhong Mengling is one of the many attacking players in the Chinese camp who can hurt any opposition on the day. She was in a good form during the recent tournament, recording three goals in the process. 

Mengling usually operates out of the left flank and has a lot of speed and positional awareness. She can dribble out of tricky situations and loves to venture into the shooting circle with the ball. Indian defence must be wary of her threat. During the third-place playoff too, Mengling gave the Indian defenders a lot of trouble, single-handedly creating a few scoring chances. 

Did You Know?

Australia and New Zealand bowed out of the FIH Pro League, giving way to the inclusion of India and Spain.

Indian government facilitated the forward Vandana Katariya with the prestigious Padma Shri award, the fourth highest civilian honour.

China finished seventh out of nine teams in the inaugural edition of the FIH Pro League in 2019



Savita Punia (GK), Rajani Etimarpu (GK), Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita, Nisha, Sushila Chanu , Monika, Neha, Salima Tete, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Vandana Katariya, Mariana Kujur, Sharmila Devi.


Wu Surong (GK), Yang Liu, Tang Wanli, Chen Feiping, Deng Xue, Chen Yujun, Luo Yuxin, Wang Shumin, Yong Jing, Guo Qiu, Peng Xueyi, Huang Haiyan, Yu Anhui, Liu Qingmei, Zhong Mengling.


The Women’s Asia Cup 2022 will be live-streamed on the website and also on the Watch Hockey app.

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