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NZ 2017 Tour: Rani leads even as Sushila joins (5/9/2017)
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Rani to lead India for the New Zealand Test Series, even as Sushila Chanu joins after recovery

Recovering from injury, former captain Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam will join Indian women's team as Deputy to Rani Ramphal. Rani will lead the 20-member Indian Senior Women’s team for the New Zealand tour, where a Five-Match Test Series will be to be played at Midlands starting May 14.

Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam is is making her comeback after nearly eight months of rehabilitation due to an injury.

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The team includes a mix of experienced and the young with the defence line formed by Deep Grace Ekka, Udita, Sunita Lakra, Namita Toppo, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam and Gurjit Kaur who also doubles up as the team’s only drag flicker. The goal will be kept by Savita who had a fantastic outing at the Women’s Hockey World League Round 2 where she was adjudged the goal keeper of the tournament.

Rajani Etimarpu will travel as the second goal keeper in the team.

The midfield will be formed by the experienced Ritu Rani, Lilima Minz, Navjot Kaur, Monika, Renuka Yadav, Nikki Pradhan and Reena Khokar. The forwardline features Rani, Vandana Katariya, Preeti Dubey, Sonika and Anupa Barla.

Recently, India won the Five-Match Test Series against Belarus nd returned victorious from the Women’s Hockey World League Round 2 beating Chile in the final.

Dutchman Sjoerd Marijne, the newly-appointed chief coach for the Indian women’s team, is confident the New Zealand tour will help the team gain the required exposure ahead of important tournament lined up in June. "The goal of the tour is to play well against a higher ranked team and experience on what level we are now. If we can execute the plans we have focused on through the camp, I am confident we can notch up good results. Doing well against a team like New Zealand will bring a lot of confidence to the team,” expressed Marijne". The team has been put through the grind in a 21-day camp at SAI, Bengaluru where the team trains three session a day.

Marijne says the emphasis was on fitness and scientific advisor Wayne Lombard has been working with the team one session each day. “The focus of the camp was on fitness, improving individual technique as well as developing our defensive structure.”

TEAM

Goalkeepers
1. Rajani Etimarpu
2. Savita

Defenders
3. Deep Grace Ekka
4. Udita
5. Sunita Lakra
6. Gurjit Kaur
7. Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam (VC)
8. Namita Toppo

Midfielders
9. Ritu Rani
10. Lilima Minz
11. Navjot Kaur
12. Monika
13. Renuka Yadav
14. Nikki Pradhan
15. Reena Khokar

Forwards
16. Rani (C)
17. Vandana Katariya
18. Preeti Dubey
19. Sonika
20. Anupa Barla

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