Post the glorious victory in Hero Hockey World League Round 2, the Indian Women Hockey Team is all confident and geared up for the upcoming Hawke’s Bay Cup 2015 in New Zealand. The team is well prepared to put forward a tough game and register a victory in their first clash against China on the opening day of the tournament. Australia will take on USA, Argentina will face Korea and the hosts will go head on against Japan in the other opening day matches.
Live Stream of The Hawke’s Bay Cup (Women’s Hockey) Here
Indian women had last met China during the Asian Games 2014 where they had a close match against the opponents before going down 1-2. Both the teams look forward to mark a positive start and will attempt to maintain an edge over each other proving themselves strong opponents for the upcoming matches as well. The face off in the Hawke’s Bay Cup comes as a challenge for the Indian women to avenge the previous loss and prove themselves better than the opponents.
The Indian team led by the talented Ritu Rani is much more motivated and determined after the successful Hero Hockey World League Round 2 which has made their chances bright to qualify for Rio Olympics 2016. This tour will also help the team to polish their skills for the upcoming major tournaments.
The opponents led by Cui Qiuxia are a strong team with skilful players who have showcased their talent in various tournaments so far. Both the teams will put in their best efforts to play a constructive game, thereby, placing themselves in a comfortable zone for the tournament.
Aiming towards a favourable game, Indian Captain Ritu Rani said, “The victory at Hero Hockey Women World League –Round 2 has definitely motivated the team for the upcoming tournament. The players are all in good spirit with an excitement to face the opponents strongly and give them a tough fight. Also, this is a good opportunity for us to work on our game skills and bring in the required improvement which will help us to perform better in the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final Round (Women). We hope to begin the tournament on a winning note as this will boost the confidence of the team”.
Talking on the clash against Australia and New Zealand, she added: “While we will use our clash against them to analyze our weaknesses, we will also even take the matches to understand how do their players fare when put under pressure and areas where we outwitted them through our skilful play. I think it will be a two way opportunity for the teams as the upcoming tournament in June is important for every participating team”.
Speaking on the challenge ahead, Indian forward Rani Rampal said “While the aim is to give a good performance, the same will greatly depend on not loosing possession of the ball in the semi-circle. Those few seconds will be the time when we have to ensure to not allow pressure take the better of us. We have to be quick and not waste any time in our passes, in trying to get a penalty corner in our favour or even giving a shot at the goal. Each milli second there will count.”
Confident about the team, Roelant Oltmans, Director High Performance, Hockey India, who is also standing in as Indian team’s coach for the tournament, said, “The players have worked really hard with enough practice sessions for this tournament. Our team has become strong with time which is very evident after the successful Hero Hockey Women World League – Round 2. The aim now is to play the matches with the best efforts being put in and meanwhile makes the team even stronger to give a tough fight in the upcoming Semi Finals. The aim will be to earn the crucial penalty corners and convert them, for this the girls have to maintain the attack on the opponents during the entire match. For the team, this is a wonderful opportunity to polish the skills make themselves strong enough to qualify for the Rio Olympics”.
The Hawke’s Bay will be played from 11 April 2015 – 19 April 2015 and eight teams will be seen fighting it out for the title. India will play their first match against China at 7.00 AM IST on 11 April 2015. The matches will be LIVE Streamed on www.hockeyfestival.nz.
Schedule of Hawke’s Bay Cup is here:
Pool A: Australia, China, India, USA
Pool B: Argentina, Japan, Korea, New Zealand