2018 Women’s World Cup of Hockey: India opens campaign against host England

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India, who are placed in Group B, will open their 2018 Women’s World Cup of Hockey campaign against host England on Saturday

Rani Rampal and India aim to win their first World Cup. (Hockey India)

STRONG POINTS

  • India ranks in Group B of the World Cup
  • India will face Ireland and the United States outside of England in the group matches
  • India’s best World Cup result came in 1974 when they finished fourth

India will face England in their opening game of the Women’s World Cup of Hockey on Saturday.

They are in Group B and will face world number 16 Ireland on July 26, followed by world number 7 the United States on July 29.

“The pressure will be on England and not on us,” Indian skipper Rani said on the eve of the match.

“Yes they will have home advantage but we are not new to playing in front of big crowds. We have played well against England before and will remain confident to do well in our recent tournaments including the CWG where we tasted victory over England in the group stage at Gold Coast, ”added Rani.

India’s previous appearance at the FIH World Cup dates back to 2010, when the event was held in Argentina. Rani was then the highlight of India’s performance in ninth place as she had scored seven goals for the team during the tournament.

While there is a lot going on about Rani during this edition as well, she has a unit that has provided inspiring performances over the past couple of years, where India has even achieved the highest career ranking of No.10. global.

“The team, especially the front row, no longer depends on Rani alone to score goals. We have young forwards including Vandana Katariya’s experience with over 200 international caps who have scored multiple times for the team. .

“I like looking at the positives that we have and having a drag flicker like Gurjit Kaur who is one of the best in the world is also an advantage we have,” said head coach Sjoerd Marijne.

After arriving in London a week before the start of the tournament, the Indian team had some good training sessions at the Lee Valley Hockey event site and tennis stadium, including two training matches against the Australia and Belgium.

“We’ve had good match training against two of the best teams in the world. The team are upbeat and excited going into the first match and at the moment our only goal is to do well against England.

“We have also faced USA and Ireland in the past and have a specific game plan against them. But for now, we are focusing on Game 1,” Rani signed.

(With PTI inputs)

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