The Indian women’s hockey team will be heading off to Germany on a 10-day tour as they continue their preparations for the Tokyo Olympics. The side, who are coming off a long Argentina tour, are currently stationed in Bengaluru. And will be leaving on Tuesday. The fixtures for the tour have been released. India will be playing the hosts on February 27 and 28 and then on March 2 and 4.
Indian team’s chief coach Sjoerd Marijne is overjoyed about the opportunity to play the third-ranked side of the world. She feels that the tour will be very helpful for their preparations leading to the Olympics. The women’s side has chosen to skip the 2020-21 edition of the FIH Pro League. This makes the tour matches crucial as India continue their build-up for Tokyo 2020.
“We feel privileged to travel in a short span to play yet another top team in the world,” Marijne told Hockey India. “Germany will be one of the favourites at the Tokyo Olympics and to test our level against them will really help in our preparations.”
“We have to make the most of every opportunity,” asserts Sjoerd Marijne
Playing one of the top three sides, it is a good opportunity for India to try things as they eye the big prize. Marijne feels that Germany’s “unique style” will be a great test for the side. He adds that closely spaced matches will also test the fitness of the side ahead of the Games.
“We have to make the most of every opportunity we get to play against these higher-ranked teams. Germany plays with a very unique and different style compared to Argentina and this will help us prepare for the Olympic Games. Also, since these are back-to-back matches, our level of fitness will also be tested,” Marijne opined.
Goalkeepers: Savita Punia (vice-captain and goalkeeper), Rajani Etimarpu
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur, Udita, Nisha
Midfielders: Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Neha, Lilima Minz, Sushila Chanu, Salima Tete, Navjot Kaur
Forwards: Rani Rampal (Captain), Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Rajwinder Kaur, Sharmila Devi