New Delhi: Ritu Rani will lead an 18-member Indian hockey team for the five-match Test tour of Italy to be played in Rome from December 1 to 12. The tour, seen as a preparation for the World Hockey League Round 2, was selected by Hockey India selectors Surinder Kaur, Harbinder Singh, Mamta Kharab, High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans, chief coach Neil Hawgood, and coach NS Saini, after a selection trial conducted at SAI centre, Bhopal on November 19 and 20.
The contingent is looking forward to repeat the success of the Incheon Asian Games 2014 where the team clinched a bronze medal. While the team will be captained by midfielder Ritu Rani, midfielder Deepika has been named as the vice-captain.
Speaking on the team structure, chief coach Hawgood said, "The team has been continuously improving with each tournament. With Italy Tour coming their way, the players are expected to continue their good form and raise. We have selected some new players in the squad and this Italy Tour will provide them international exposure as well as an opportunity to polish their skills."
The first Test of the series will be played on December 4 followed by games December 6, 7, 9 and 11.
Goalkeepers: Savita, Rajani Etimarpu
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Jaspreet Kaur, Sushila Chanu, M N Ponnamma, Sunita Lakra, Namita Toppo, Manjit Kaur
Midfielders: Deepika (vc), Lilima Minz, Ritu Rani (c), Lily Chanu, Navjot Kaur, Amandeep Kaur
Forwards: Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya, Soundarya Yendala....