Rani Rampal has been named in India's 22-member team for their match against world no.1 Netherlands on the 8th and 9th of April in Bhubaneswar. Rampal has been named in the probables after a long injury lay-off - she had been out injured since the Olympic Games in Tokyo last year.
The team will be led by goalkeeper Savita Punia, with experienced defender Deep Grace Ekka named as the vice-captain. The team list includes new faces Mahima Chaudhary (defender) and Aishwarya Rajesh Chavan (forward).
In a release from Hockey India, coach Janneke Schopman said, "It's great to be back on the field for our Hockey Pro League games vs the Netherlands after the disappointment of England not being able to visit. With our Juniors playing the Junior World Cup we have the opportunity to use the depth of our core group and I am excited to potentially see some new faces on the field making their debut in these games. Rani has also worked hard to be back in contention and if this training week goes well I hope we can play her in one of the games."
"Netherlands is a formidable opponent, they have shown last weekend against the USA that they score goals easily and play from a tight defence. We are looking to build on our own performance since our last games vs Germany and am excited to hopefully show our progress against a strong opponent," she said.
The Indians are currently fourth in the pool table, with three wins in six matches. Netherlands meanwhile have won five of their six matches.
The first match is at 7.30 PM IST on the 8th, and the second at 3.30 PM IST on the 9th - they will be telecast on Star Sports 2 and Disney+ Hotstar.
The full team list
Goalkeepers: Savita (Captain), Rajani Etimarpu
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (Vice Captain), Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita, Rashmita Minz, Suman Devi Thoudam
Midfielders: Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur, Monika, Namita Toppa, Sonika, Neha, Mahima Choudhary
Forwards: Aishwarya Rajesh Chavan, Navneet Kaur, Rajwinder Kaur, Rani Rampal, Mariana Kujur
Standbys: Upasana Singh, Preeti Dubey, Vandana Katariya