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Rani to lead Indian women’s hockey team for Spain tour

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Ace striker Rani Rampal will captain an 18-strong Indian women’s team, while experienced goalkeeper Savita will be her deputy for the season opener in Spain starting Jan 26, Hockey India announced Friday.

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The Indian Hockey team is set to play four matches with the Spain and two matches against the Women’s World Cup runners-up, Ireland.

The team will leave on January 24 for the Spain tour from Bengaluru, where they have been based for the past two weeks for the National Camp.

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The team includes goalkeepers Savita and Rajani Etimarpu. The Indian team for Spain Tour will feature defender Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam who makes a comeback after missing out on the World Cup and the Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang last year due to injury.

Defender Salima Tete, who led the India U-18 team to a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, has also been named in the team along with experienced Deep Grace Ekka, Reena Khokhar, Nikki Pradhan and drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur who will add strength to India’s defence.

While the midfield features Lilima Minz, Karishma Yadav, Sonika and Neha Goyal, the forward-line will have the experience of Rani, Vandana Katariya, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Udita and Navjot Kaur.

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