The presence of three Olympians, together with skipper Salima Tete, will definitely be a bonus for the Indian hockey workforce when it competes on the FIH Ladies’s Junior World Cup, starting on Friday.
Other than Tete, mid-fielder Sharmila Devi and striker Lalremsiami have been a part of the senior workforce which completed fourth on the Tokyo Olympics.
The Indian workforce will start its marketing campaign in Pool D in opposition to Wales on Saturday earlier than taking over formidable Germany on Sunday.
The Indians will then tackle Malaysia within the last pool match earlier than the quarterfinal spherical which begins on April 8. The 20-year-old Salima is a crucial cog within the Indian midfield. She has already proved her capabilities within the profitable Olympics marketing campaign.
Her swiftness is a deal with to observe. She mesmerised along with her sensible runs within the bronze medal match in opposition to Nice Britain, incomes three penalty corners, albeit in a shedding trigger.
When it’s all wrists, it’s all grace
Lalresiami, the primary girl Olympian from Mizoram, is a nimble-footed striker, recognized for fast and poaching actions contained in the opposition circle.
The 20-year-old Sharmila, additionally an brisk ahead, has impressed all along with her sensible runs from each the flanks in the course of the Olympics. She additionally scored a purpose in India’s pool stage match in opposition to Nice Britain.
The coveted quadrennial match, which was initially scheduled for December, was postponed because of the Omicron-threat in South Africa.
“There’s plenty of pleasure among the many gamers. Everybody has labored so laborious for this second and used the postponement to realize higher publicity, enhance as a workforce so we will put up our greatest efficiency right here,” stated Tete, who had led the U-18 workforce to a silver medal on the Youth Olympics in 2018.
Highlighting the workforce’s preparations, the Indian skipper stated: “Coming right here early has helped us tremendously. We now have been capable of get an excellent quantity of coaching periods right here which has helped in acclimatising to the climate.” “It will get very heat and humid in the course of the day. It undoubtedly helped to have our final camp earlier than coming right here in Bhubaneswar the place we skilled in fairly scorching circumstances.”
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The squad additionally boasts of vice-captain Ishika Chaudhary, goalkeeper Bichu Devi Kharibam, defender Akshata Abaso Dekhale and Sangita Kumari, who made their senior India debut just lately on the FIH Hockey Professional League matches in opposition to Germany.
“Many people within the workforce obtained a possibility to play with the senior workforce and we additionally skilled alongside them in Bhubaneswar. I really feel this expertise will certainly assist us within the Junior World Cup,” Chaudhary stated.
The Indian workforce additionally performed two warm-up matches in opposition to England and Netherlands with each the video games ending in a draw. “We performed 4×10 minutes warm-up matches in opposition to England and Netherlands. It gave us insights into the areas we have to prioritise. We have been creating many probabilities however did not convert sufficient,” Chaudhary stated.
India, who’ve appeared in 4 editions of the junior world occasion, claimed their finest end in 2013 with a bronze. The workforce didn’t qualify for the final version of the match, Going by type and present standings, India are anticipated to qualify for quarterfinal alongside Germany from their pool.
The Netherlands, who’re essentially the most profitable workforce on the occasion with three titles, are positioned in Pool Some time defending champions Argentina are in Pool C.
It stays to be seen if lack of worldwide publicity, going into the match, hurts as they’ve hardly performed any worldwide occasions within the final two years, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.