Rani Rampal, who the coach said is still recovering from injury, was the big name missing in India's squad for next month's FIH Women's Hockey World Cup announced by Hockey India on Tuesday. Goalkeeper Savita will continue to captain the team in her absence, while Deep Grace Ekka was named her deputy.
The Indian squad for the World Cup has the bulk of players from the team that finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics last year. The World Cup will be held from July 1 to 17 in Netherlands and Spain 2022. India are already in Europe, playing in the FIH Pro League.
"We have chosen the best squad for the World Cup. It is a mix of experience and young talent who have shown great promise when they were given a chance against top teams in the FIH Pro League," said head coach Janneke Schopman in a Hockey India release. "Except Rani, who is still not fully recovered from injury rehabilitation, the team has all the players who were part of the Olympic campaign with inclusions like Jyoti and Sonika who have done well in their roles when given a chance."
This is India's 20-member squad:
Goalkeepers: Savita and Bichu Devi Kharibam
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita
Midfielders: Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Neha, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur, Sonika and Salima Tete
Forwards: Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur and Sharmila Devi
Replacement playrers: Akshata Abaso Dhekale and Sangita Kumari
India are grouped in Pool B along with England, New Zealand and China, and will begin their campaign on July 3 against England, to whom they lost the in the bronze medal playoffs at Tokyo.
In the previous edition of the quadrennial event held in London, India had reached the quarterfinals but lost to Ireland in a shootout. Ireland had then gone on to play the final, where they were beaten 6-0 by the Netherlands. Spain finished third, beating Australia 3-1 in the third place match.