Vandana to lead India hockey team at Asian Champions Trophy

 New Delhi, Oct 4: Forward Vandana Katariya was today named as captain of the 18-member Indian women hockey squad for the Asian Champions Trophy, scheduled to be played in Singapore from October 29.

Defender Sunita Lakra was named as the vice captain of the side as Sushila Chanu, who led the side during the Rio Olympic Games has been omitted.

The Indian team has two goalkeepers, five forwards, six mid-fielders and five defenders.

The tournament will feature defending Champions Japan, China, Korea and Malaysia apart from India. 

"Though the Olympics could have ended better for the girls, they are high on confidence as they got to see what it really takes to play at the highest level and are vying to showcase top quality hockey during the Asian Champions Trophy," said chief coach Neil Hawgood.

"The team has been training at SAI, Bhopal over the past three weeks and are looking fresh from a well-deserved break post Rio," Hawgood added.

Vandana feels the tournament will help the team access where they stand.

"I feel honoured to lead the team as they are a great bunch and we understand each other's weak and strong points. Rio was a great experience and there is a lot of scope for us to improve and I feel this tournament will help us understand where we stand and how we can improve our game as a team as well as individually," she said.

The Squad: GOALKEEPERS: Savita and Rajani Etimarpu DEFENDERS: Deep Grace Ekka, Renuka Yadav, Sunita Lakra,Hnialum Lal Ruat Feli and  Namita Toppo

MIDFIELDERS: Nikki Pradhan, Navjot Kaur, Monika, Rani, Deepika and Navdeep Kaur. FORWARDS: Poonam Rani, Anuradha Devi Thokchom, Vandana Katariya, Preeti Dubey and Punam Barla.