Savita Punia takes over the captainship of Indian women’s hockey team

Savita Punia, Goalkeeper will be the captain of an 18-strong Indian women’s hockey team for the five-match sequence against Malaysia beginning April 4, on Wednesday Hockey India declared on Wednesday. Savita Punia will stand-in for usual captain Rani Rampal, who is irradiating an injury. The eight-day tour to Kuala Lumpur will hold defender Deep Grace Ekka as Punia’s deputy.

Addressing regarding the tour ahead of 2020 Olympic Qualifying matches, chief coach SjoerdMarijne said, “One of the things we wanted to improve after the Spain Tour was our One Vs One defending and create more opportunities after we intercept the ball. These are the two key areas we want to focus on in Malaysia and we keep working on individual consistency of players.” In the absence of Rani Rampal, the expert Namita Toppo including drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur, Marijne said, it would be an opportunity for the youngsters to strengthen their future prospects.

“Young players get to show their best performance on an international level and it’s important for us in case of creating depth in the selection,” he added. Rajani Etimarpu has entered the team as the second goalkeeper. The defence will hold youngster SalimaTete, Reena Khokar, Ekka, RashmitaMinz, and SushilaChanuPukhrambam along with Sunita Lakra.

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