Women Hockey World Cup, India to play England as Opener

Women’s Hockey World Cup: India Play England in Opener on Saturday

Indian women’s hockey team is to take on hosts and Olympic champions England in their opening match of World Cup London 2018 on Saturday, 21 July.

This is India’s first appearance in the World Cup in eight years, but captain Rani Rampal is confident that pressure will be on their opponents, and not them.

“We will go into the match with the belief that we can beat them. We just need to make sure we don’t make silly mistakes like we did in the bronze medal match at the CWG which cost us the game,” added Rani.

Grouped in Pool B, India will also be playing the World No. 16 Ireland on 26 July, followed by World No. 7 USA on 29 July, in the group stages of the prestigious tournament. England is ranked 2 in the world right now.

India’s previous appearance at the Hockey World Cup was in 2010 held in Argentina. Rani was then the cynosure of India’s ninth-place performance as she ended the tournament with seven goals the maximum in the team. While there will be a lot riding on Rani in this edition of the World Cup too, she has a unit that has shown confidence-inspiring performance over the past two years that has resulted in India climbing to a career-best ranking of World No. 10.

After arriving in London a week before the start of the tournament, the Indian team played two practice matches against Australia and Belgium.

“We have had good match practice against two of the top teams in the world. The team is upbeat and excited ahead of the first match and right now, our only focus is to do well against England.

We have played US and Ireland too in the past and have specific game plans against them. But for now, our focus is on the first match,” signed off Rani.

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