India are set to take on hosts England in their opening match of the Women’s Hockey World cup that gets underway here on Saturday.
Grouped in Pool B, India takes on world number 16Ireland on July July 26 followed by World number 7 USA on July 29, apart from facing the Olympic champions on the opening day of the prestigious tournament. Germany take on South Africa in the opening match.
India’s previous appearance at the FIH world cup was in 2010 when the event was held in Argentina. Rani then was the cynosure of India’s ninth-place performance as she had scored seven goals in the tournament.
While there will be a lot riding on Rani in this edition too, she has a unit that has dished out confident performances over the past two years where India even climbed to a career-best ranking of world number 10.
“The pressure will be on England and not on us,” asserted Rani on match eve.
“Yes they will have the home ground advantage but we are not new to playing in front of big crowds. We are not new to playing in front of big crowds.
We have done well against England before and we will carry the confidence of doing well in our recent tournaments including the Commonwealth Games where we had tasted victory against England in the group stage in gold coast,” added Rani.
A total of 16 teams will be in action with world No. 1 the Netherlands keen to defend their title Argentina are another dangerous side while Nev Zealand and Australi have been making the Levalley Hockey and Tenn Centre their own temp rarely home. Both England and NZ will be full of confidence on the back recent successes.
From online sources