Four female hockey players from Odisha – Sunita Lakra, Namita Toppo, Deep Grace Ekka and Lilima Minz – have been selected in the Indian women’s hockey team for next month’s season-opening away series against Korea.
India will play five matches against the hosts at the Jinchun National Athletic Centre, from March 3 to 12. Ace striker Rani Rampal will lead the Indian team while defender Sunita Lakra from Odisha has been named as vice-captain for the tour.
With celebrated goalkeeper Savita rested for the tour, Rajani Etimarpu will be joined by debutant Swati to guard the Indian goalpost in Korea.
The defence line will feature the experienced Deepika, who was out of action following a knee surgery last year. She will be joined by Suman Devi Thoudam, Deep Grace Ekka, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam and Gurjit Kaur who will double up as dragflicker.
Goalkeepers: Rajani Etimarpu, Swati
Defenders: Deepika, Sunita Lakra (VC), Deep Grace Ekka, Suman Devi Thoudam, Gurjit Kaur, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam
Midfielders: Monika, Namita Toppo, Nikki Pradhan, Neha Goyal, Lilima Minz, Udita
Forwards: Rani (C), Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur, Navneet Kaur, Poonam Rani.