New Delhi: Hockey India announced a 18-member women`s squad for the London Olympic qualifiers, to be held at the Major Dhyan Chand National stadium from February 18.
Led by midfielder Asunta Lakra, the team features most of the players who played in the four-Test series against Azerbaijan early this month.
Joydeep Kaur, who made a comeback in the 32-men probable after recovering from an injury sustained during the Australia tour in 2011, has been retained and will be joined by Jaspreet Kaur and Subhadra Pradhan in the defence line.
Lakra, her deputy Kirandeep Kaur, P Sushila Chanu, Deepika, Ritu Rani and Mukta Prava Barla will mend the midfield during the event which features Canada, Italy, Poland, South Africa and Ukraine, besides India.
Poonam Rani and Anuradha Devi will lead the forward line, which also has Rosaline Dung Dung, Jasjeet Kaur Handa and Vandana Kataria, while Yogita Bali and Savita are the goalkeepers in the final 18.
The team was selected on the basis of performances of the core group probables during the Azerbaijan Series by HI selectors, Olympians Col. Balbir Singh, BP Govinda, Syed Ali and Rekha Bhide and government observers Harbinder Singh and Dilip Tirkey.
The Indian Women Team for this tournament is as under-
Goalkeepers: Yogita Bali, Savita
Defenders: Jaspreet Kaur, Joydeep Kaur, Subhadra Pradhan.
Midfielders: P Sushila Chanu, Asunta Lakra, Kirandeep Kaur, Deepika, Ritu Rani, Mukta Prava Barla.
Forwards: Poonam Rani, Vandana Kataria, Rani, Soundarya Yendala, Anuradha Devi, Rosaline Dung Dung, Jasjeet Kaur Handa
Standbys: Rajani Etimarpu (Goalkeeper), Pinki Devi (Defender), M N Ponnamma (Midfielder), Deep Grace Ekka (Midfielder), Anupa Barla (Forward), Lily Chanu (Forward).
India will open their campaign against Ukraine on 18th February to be followed by matches against Canada, Poland, South Africa and Italy on 19th, 21st 22nd and 24th.