Amstelveen, July 2
A rejuvenated India would seek revenge against England when the two teams open their campaign in the Women’s Hockey World Cup here tomorrow.
India, who are grouped in Pool B with England, China and New Zealand, had lost 3-4 to England at the Tokyo Olympics last year. India were close to claiming their maiden Olympics medal – a bronze – but England dashed their hopes.
However, the Indians would be high on confidence going into the match, especially after finishing a creditable third in their first-ever FIH Pro League campaign.
Even though it is a well-oiled squad, India will definitely miss the services of Rani Rampal, who has been sidelined since the Tokyo Games due to a hamstring injury. In her absence, experienced goalkeeper Savita Punia has led the team brilliantly. The team achieved its best-ever world ranking (6th) in May and then gave some top teams a run for their money in the Pro League. The Janneke Schopman-coached side finished on the podium ahead of heavyweights like Belgium, Australia and England.
Talking about their opponents, Punia said: “Some of our players want to challenge their goalkeeper Maddie Hinge, who has been quite exceptional at the goalpost. And they also have some very experienced players like Laura Unsworth, Giselle Ansley, their captain Hollie Pearne-Webb and Lily Owsley who will bring their A game against us,” she added.
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