Sun, 24 Sep 2023

By Sahil KohliBengaluru (Karnataka) [India], June 24 (ANI): Ahead of the upcoming FIH Women's Hockey World Cup, Goalkeeper Savita Punia, Indian women's hockey team's captain for the event, believes that no team can be taken lightly.

FIH Women's Hockey World Cup to be held in Netherlands and Spain starting from July 1 to July 17, 2022.

"In the last two years, every team has improved. All these four teams (Netherlands, England, Australia and Argentina are at the top. The Netherlands could be the strongest side. But there were some matches in which other teams gave them good competition. So to be honest, the hockey played by a team during a match will decide who is stronger. We can not make up our minds about a team beforehand. But still, Argentina and Netherlands are great teams," said Punia in an exclusive interview with ANI.

"Every team is good in today's hockey, in fact, the best. Even we once used to make up certain things about certain teams in our minds and we could not play our natural game as a result. For us, our performance is important. This is our main focus. We do respect other teams, we will watch them and plan against them before our match. We will have to follow our plans so that we do not regret after the match," she said.

India will start off its World Cup campaign against England on July 3. Ahead of the opening clash, Punia said that England is a good team and India had a close clash with them during Tokyo Olympics 2020.

"We want to play against a good team. Our main focus is to perform as well as a team and support each other. Everyone wants to play at their best on this level. We will try to give our best as individuals and team," she added.

Hockey India on Tuesday named the 18-member Indian women's team for the most-awaited FIH Women's Hockey World Cup to be held in Netherlands and Spain starting from July 1 to July 17, 2022.

India grouped in Pool B along with England, New Zealand and China will begin their campaign on July 3 against nemesis England, to whom they lost the Bronze Medal in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The Indian team will be captained by ace goalkeeper Savita and vice captained by Deep Grace Ekka. India squad: Goalkeepers: Savita (C), Bichu Devi KharibamDefenders: Deep Grace Ekka (VC), Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, UditaMidfielders: Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Neha, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur, Sonika, Salima TeteForwards: Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Sharmila DeviReplacement players: Akshata Abaso Dhekale, Sangita Kumari. (ANI)

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