Savita to lead India at Hockey Asian Champions Trophy

India is the 2018 edition’s silver medallist

In the absence of Rani Rampal, who is undergoing rehab, goalkeeper Savita Punia will lead an 18-member Indian hockey team in the women’s Asian Champions Trophy, scheduled to be held at Donghae, Korea, from December 5 to 12.

Navjot Kaur and youngster Suman Devi Thoudam have been chosen as alternative players.

“Despite some injuries and senior players joining the under-21 team for the Junior World Cup in South Africa, I feel we have selected a good team. This tournament will be a good opportunity for some young players to get a taste of the highest international level,” said chief coach Janneke Schopman.

“I am sure the expectations are high after our success at the Tokyo Olympics but we all start at zero again,” he said.

India is the 2018 edition’s silver medallist, while Korea is defending champion.

India’s fixtures: Thailand Dec. 5; Malaysia Dec. 6; Korea Dec. 8; China Dec. 9; Japan Dec. 11. The final is on December 12.

The squad: Goalkeepers: Savita Punia (Capt.), Rajani Etimarpu; Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (Vice-Capt.), Udita, Nikki Pradhan, Gurjit Kaur; Midfielders: Nisha, P. Sushila Chanu, Namita Toppo, Monika, Neha, Jyoti, Lilima Minz; Forwards: Navneet Kaur, Vandana Katariya, Rajwinder Kaur, Mariana Kujur and Sonika.

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