Goalkeeper Savita says the team is ready for the challenge
Bhubaneswar, 17 February 2022: The Indian Women’s Hockey Team is grouped in pool B along with England, New Zealand and China for the upcoming FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup 2022 in Spain and Netherlands scheduled to begin from 1 July.
The Indian Women Team recently secured their qualification for the World Cup after finishing third in the Asia Cup in Muscat. Speaking about the competition in their pool, Indian Women Goalkeeper Savita said, “It is a tough pool with England (World No.3) and New Zealand (World No.8) who are ranked above us and China can always spring a surprise. As a team, we have always believed we need to focus on ourselves and not what the opponent can do. But now that we know who we play in the pool stage, we can plan our preparations accordingly and we look forward to the challenge.”
The Indian Women’s Team made it to the top eight for the first time in the previous edition of the World Cup when they drew 1-1 with England, lost 0-1 to Ireland, who went on to play the Final against World Champions Netherlands, and drew 1-1 against USA in the group stage. “It was a very good tournament for us and it inculcated a great sense of self-belief. Draw against England in their home ground was quite significant for us in 2018 and we came very close to beating Ireland in the Quarter Final but ended up losing in the shootout after a 0-0 draw.”
“With the experience we have had over the past three-four years, particularly in big events like the Olympic Games in Tokyo, I feel we are better prepared mentally to do well this time at the World Cup,” she added.
Savita further emphasised that the upcoming FIH Hockey Pro League matches will help them prepare well in the lead up to the prestigious quadrennial event in July. “We will play England at home in the Pro League matches in April and we have already played China. I believe playing other top teams of the world like Belgium, Argentina etc will definitely benefit us in our preparations for the World Cup,” she added.
While India is grouped in pool B with England, New Zealand and China, World Champions Netherlands are grouped in pool A with Germany, Ireland and Chile. In pool C, hosts Spain will face-off against Argentina, Korea and Canada and in pool D, Australia, Belgium, Japan and South Africa will take on each other.
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