New Delhi: Indian women’s hockey team captain Savita Punia and vice-captain Deep Grace Ekka are confident that the players will learn from their loss to Belgium and make a strong comeback in the remaining four matches ahead of the upcoming World Cup.
The next challenge for the team will be a double-header against Argentina in Rotterdam Netherlands followed by two matches against the United States at the same venue.
The Indian women’s hockey team was full of confidence a few days back for the FIH Pro League matches and then the Women’s World Cup.
But 1-2 and 0-5 defeats to Belgium in consecutive matches of the Pro League have proved to be disappointing for the players and fans. However, skipper Savita was confident that the girls would learn from their mistakes and make a strong comeback in the upcoming matches.
Apart from the Pro League, the Indian women’s team’s major engagements this season include the FIH Women’s World Cup in Spain and the Netherlands next month and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham starting July 28.
Both Savita and Deep Grace Ekka believe that the two matches against Tokyo Olympic silver medalists Argentina (June 18 and 19) and the United States (June 21 and 22) will help the team in the right shape and preparation for the World Cup. will help, which will be held from July 1 to 17.
Savita said, “We could not do well against Belgium as per expectations. But both the matches were good for the team as we were able to test the players and enable them to play in different positions.”
Argentina have already won the FIH Pro League title with 38 points and the results of the two matches against India will not affect the title. The Netherlands, the world and Olympic champions, are second with 32 points, while India are third with 22 points.
However, India would be eager to take revenge on Argentina after losing in the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympic Games last year.
Though India has come a long way in terms of results and rankings ahead of the Olympics, Argentina are strong and it will be a tough challenge for Savita and her team.