All eyes will be on these players in the tournament.
Indian women’s hockey team is ready for the FIH Women’s Hockey World Cup which will take place in the Netherlands and Spain from 1st July to 17th July. The team is going to play in the tournament without their star player Rani Rampal, but there are a lot of other Indian players who can do wonders in the tournament.
The former skipper is still undergoing rehabilitation for a hamstring injury. India grouped in Pool B along with England, New Zealand and China will begin their campaign on 3rd July against nemesis England, to whom they lost the Bronze Medal in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Goalkeeper Savita Punia will lead the Indian team in the tournament with Deep Grace Ekka as her deputy. India haven’t done something remarkable in the World Cup so far. Their best performance in the tournament came in 1974 when they finished in the fourth position.
Hockey used to be a lot different back then and it will be difficult for the team to better that performance in the upcoming edition of the tournament. However, the Indian players will try their best to get something out of the Hockey World Cup. There are some players who will be key to their success in the tournament. Let’s take a look at five Indian players who will be important for the Indian team in the tournament.
5. Salima Tete
Salima Tete has played over 50 matches for India just at the age of 20. She will be a key player for India in the midfield in the Hockey World Cup. The player is known for her fierce defending in the midfield but her offensive skills should not be taken lightly as well. Apart from defending deep in the midfield, she can also break the opposition’s defensive lines while attacking and could prove to be a threat for many teams in the Hockey World Cup.
Tete was a key player in India’s FIH Olympic Qualifiers victory over the United States, and she has established her spot in the team with notable performances in recent years, including the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020. She is only the second player from Jharkhand to compete in the Olympics, after Nikki Pradhan.
Youngster Lalremsiami has been the mainstay of the Indian women’s hockey team for a long time now. She debuted for the senior team in a test series against Belarus in 2017 and has played 86 matches so far. Lalremsiami played in the last edition of the Hockey World Cup and will look to use her experience in the upcoming tournament.
She is a midfielder and often takes the advanced role on the field and supports the forward line with her skills and sublime pace. Lalremsiami plays well on wings too and can change her position as per the coach’s requirements. Fans will be hoping for a fantastic tournament from the player.
3. Vandana Katariya
Vandana Katariya is now of the most experienced players in the Indian women’s hockey team. The forward player has notched up 264 caps for the national team and will look to continue her good performance in the upcoming tournament.
She has everything you want in a forward hockey player. Vandana Katariya has pace, kills and an eye for goal. She often scores important goals for India and gets to key positions inside the circle. The forward player was the part of the team that surprised everyone at the Tokyo Olympics last year and the players will try to do the same in the Hockey World Cup 2022.
2. Savita Punia
Savita Punia is leading the Indian team in the Hockey World Cup with Deep Grace Ekka as her deputy. The goalkeeper has proved to be a worthy captain in the absence of senior campaigner Rani Rampal. Savita was part of the team’s first appearance in 36 years at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
She played a major role in India’s Tokyo Olympics 2020 campaign as vice-captain where she helped her team in achieving a record-breaking fourth-place finish. Savita will try to continue her top performance in the Hockey World Cup to take her team to the title.
1. Gurjit Kaur
Gurjit Kaur is one of the most vital cogs of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team. Her goals have contributed to India’s big victories in recent years, most notably so at Tokyo Olympic Games 2020. She scored a match-winning goal from the Penalty Corner in India’s historic 1-0 win over Australia, which earned the Indian Women’s Hockey team a place in their first-ever semi-final at the prestigious event.
She is a top defender and a penalty-corner specialist. Gurjit has been scoring a lot of goals since the Tokyo Olympics and will look to continue her performance in the Hockey World Cup. Her defensive skills are top-notch and it will take a lot from the opposition to beat her while defending.