India to take each game at a time: Sushila; Strong bench is Important: Rajani

India is all set to leave for New Zealand tomorrow (7th April) to take on the challenge of the Hawke’s Bay Cup. High in confidence post their back to back wins in the recently concluded Women’s Hockey World League Round 2, the team is excited and waiting for the all important upcoming tournament.

Rajani Etimarpu (Indian Women Hockey Goalkeeper)

Rajani Etimarpu (Indian Women Hockey Goalkeeper)

Playing their first match with China on 11th April 2015, which will mark their outing at the tournament, the team will play to start the tourney on a winning note. The Hawke’s Bay Cup has eight of the world’s best teams coming to play for the Hawke’s Bay Cup, the teams are:
Australia (World ranking 2nd); Argentina(3rd); New Zealand (4th); China (5th); U.S.A. (8th); Korea (9th); Japan (10th); India (13th).

The India team with a visibly strong line-up in all departments will aim at taking on the opponents head on.

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Australia and New Zealand will be tough challenge for India: Poonam

After a successful campaign in the Hero Hockey World League Round 2 in New Delhi, forward player Poonam Rani is geared-up to take on a new assignment along with the Women National Hockey Team in the upcoming Hawke’s Bay Cup 2015 in New Zealand scheduled to start on 11th April.

Poonam Rani of India in action against Thailand during Asian Games 2014 in Incheon (South Korea)

Poonam Rani of India in action against Thailand during Asian Games 2014 in Incheon (South Korea) (Credits:Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

In the new environment and new teams, Poonam Rani and her team-mates will face real challenges against the world’s toughest defence line-ups in the tournament. Along with forward players Vandana Katariya (Women Player of the Year) and Rani Rampal, Poonam Rani are working on out of the box strategies to make in-roads in the opponents’ defence line-up as top-ranked teams such as Australia and New Zealand may get physical during the attacks and compact defence line-ups of China and Korea. Continue reading →

India’s Namita for discipline, Deepika looks to Face China and Hockeyroos,

With the Hawke’s Bay Cup scheduled to start from 11th April 2015 and with the team announced for the all important tournament, the women’s hockey team of India is all set to take on the upcoming challenge. The training camp which commenced on 22nd March and will conclude on 7th April, the squad is working on their strengths and rectifying the mistakes which will help them gear up for the all important tournament.

Namita Toppo (Indian Women Hockey Player): Asunta Lakra Award for Upcoming Player of the Year (Women – Under 21)

Namita Toppo (Indian Women Hockey Player)

All set to play their first match against China on the 11th April 2015, the India Women team are well aware of their last encounter at the Asian Games and are working on beating the opponents this time around. Excited Deepika, working on her defence along with Monika, Deep Grace Ekka, Sushila Chanu and Sunita Lakra, is positive of tackling the opponents with ease and confidence.

Speaking on the tournament, Pargat Singh Defender of the year awardee, Deepika said “We are yet again confident of putting up a great show. I am excited and look forward to the upcoming challenge. I am awaiting for our clashes with China and Australia. They will be tough opponents and I am excited to play against them. Playing against teams who are stronger than you always makes you give that extra in the game and that’s what excites me about these matches. Also with a strong defence line, I am confident we will not allow the opponents to break our defence chain easily.” Continue reading →

Ritu Rani to Lead India in Hawke’s Bay Cup, New Zealand

The Indian Women Hockey Squad for the upcoming Hawke’s Bay Cup to be played in New Zealand from the 11th – 19th April 2015 was announced today. Ritu Rani will lead the team against seven other higher ranked teams including Argentina, Australia, China, Japan, Korea, USA and hosts New Zealand in the all important tournament. The Pargat Singh Defender of Year awardee Deepika will be the vice-captain of the team.

Indian women hockey team for Hawke’s Bay Cup

Indian women hockey team for Hawke’s Bay Cup

Playing their first match on 11th April 2015 against China, team India is all set and motivated for the upcoming challenge which awaits them in New Zealand. Training under Roelant Oltmans, Director, High Performance, Hockey India the team is aiming to win and claim the title as they understand that this will help them gear up for the all important Hockey World League Semi Final in Belgium. Continue reading →

Strengthening Defence is focus for Savita, Rani to play Natural Game in Hawke’s Bay Cup

To give tough competition to the opponents in the fast approaching Hawke’s Bay Cup 2015, scheduled from 11th – 19th April in New Zealand, the Indian women’s hockey team is working hard on their inherited hockey skills and natural game at the ongoing preparatory camp at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi.

Savita Punia (Indian Women Hockey Goalkeeper)

Savita Punia (Indian Women Hockey Goalkeeper)

The FIH Ranked 13th team are making their basic skills strong and striving to build their strength on their natural game starting with defence chain including goalkeeper Savita Punia to forward line.

Forward players like Rani, who has performed brilliantly in the recently concluded Hero Hockey World League Round 2 (Women), rely on quick-passing and dribbling skills of the players, which make her work easy to keep hitting on the goal-box and pressurize opponent teams.

Indian Goalkeeper Savita Punia, who did not concede a single goal in Hero Hockey World League Round 2 (Women), feels that working on strengthening team’s defence chain will be the key in their attacks and counter attacks. Continue reading →

Strategies will play a crucial role in the Hawkes Bay Cup 2015: Ritu Rani

As the preparatory camp of Indian Women Hockey team for the upcoming Hawkes Bay Cup 2015, New Zealand is going on with full throttle at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi, Captain Ritu Rani is working on various game-plans with the coaching staff and experimenting varied team combinations with players.

Indian women hockey team at Park Island in Napier New Zealand (Credits: Jay Hughes)

Indian women hockey team at Park Island in Napier New Zealand (Credits: Jay Hughes)

The ongoing camp, which started on 22nd March and will conclude on 7th April, is a good platform for the team to work on their various aspects as well as analysing their strengths and weaknesses of the players. In the tournament, apart from speed and fitness, the Ritu Rani and her team are working on game-plan and strategies which will play a crucial role in the upcoming tournament. Continue reading →