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Saba Anjum to lead Indian women's hockey team in Australia

Thursday September 29, 2011 06:14:48 PM, IANS

New Delhi: Striker Saba Anjum will lead an 18-member Indian women's hockey team in Australia where they are scheduled to play a four-Test series against the host nation followed by a three-nation 9-a-side International Super Series in Perth Oct 12-24.

The selection trials for the team were conducted at SAI Centre in Bhopal Wednesday.

Anjum and Jasjeet Kaur Handa, both from Railways, will be the captain and vice captain, respectively, on the tour. Anjum and Handa have 129 and 103 International Caps, respectively.

Hockey India selectors BP Govinda, Syed Ali and Rekha Bhide besides Government Observers Harbinder Singh and Dilip Tirkey witnessed the trials where the probables also went through their paces in the new 9-a-side format of the game.

This format, featuring only nine players per side, is played on the normal dimension field but with several changes like an additional one metre wider goal. One player must be in the attacking half at all times.

There can be only two defenders besides the goalkeeper to stop penalty corners and there must not be more than four players from the attacking team for taking these penalty corners. The attacking players have to stand outside the 23-metre line before they receive the out push from the backline and the penalty corner must be executed within 25 seconds. However, in the case of long corners it is five players versus five. Again the attackers have to be outside the 23-metre area.

If the scores are level after thirty minutes, the penalty shootout will be applicable. The striker is allowed only eight seconds to score starting from the 23-metre line.

The match duration is thirty minutes with two halves of fifteen minutes each thus making it fast and furious with fitness and athleticism as the key.

The other teams in the three-nation tournament to be played Oct 20-23 are Malaysia and hosts Australia.

India will begin their tour with four Test matches against Australia from Oct 14 and will then play the 9-a-side tournament which has FIH sanction. This is the first time that such a tournament is being played internationally and the organisers have coincided the event with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at Perth.

The team:
Goalkeepers: Yogita Bali, E Rajani.

Defenders: Joydeep Kaur, Preety Sunila Kiro, Jaspreet Kaur.

Midfielders: Asunta Lakra, Kirandeep Kaur, Ritu Rani, P Sushila Chanu, Mukta Prava Barla, Deepika.

Forwards: Saba Anjum - (Captain), Jasjeet Kaur Handa (Vice Captain), Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya Rani, Soundarya Yendala, Rosalin Dung Dung.

Standbys: Savita (GK), Th. Pinki Devi (Defender), MN Ponnamma (Midfielder), Kiran Dahiya (Midfielder), Rashmi Singh (Forward).

Test series schedule:

Oct 14 - 1st Test v Australia
Oct 15 - 2nd test v Australia
Oct 17 - 3rd Test v Australia
Oct 18 - 4th Test v Australia

International Super Series 9-a-side Tournament at Perth:

Oct 20 - India v Malaysia (Two Matches)
Oct 21 - India v Australia (Two Matches)
Oct 22 - India v Malaysia (Two Matches)
India v Australia (Two Matches)
Oct 23 - Final & 3/4 Place








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