Rani Rampal will lead the Indian women’s hockey team for the tour of New Zealand which will begin on January 25 in Auckland. Goalkeeper Savita will be Rani’s deputy announced Hockey India on Tuesday.

The women in blue will begin their tour against the New Zealand development squad before facing the New Zealand women’s team on January 27 and 29. India will also face Great Britain on February 4 and then play the concluding match of their tour against New Zealand.

Speaking about the tour, India’s chief coach Sjoerd Marijne was quoted by PTI as saying, “I want to use this tour to create more competition within this group. Although we are taking a 20-member team, in some matches we will use only 16 players because we play with 16 players at the Olympics and in some matches we will play 18 members.”

“The players have to show their best and I want to see how they perform under pressure and stay in the right rhythm,” he added.

The coach also said that matches against world number 5 Great Britain and world number 6 New Zealand will be the perfect platform for the women to sharpen and exhibit their skills before the Olympics.

Indian women’s team for New Zealand tour: Rani (captain), Savita (vice-captain), Rajini Etimarpu, Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur, Reena Khokhar, Salima Tete, Sushila Chanu, Nisha, Namita Toppo, Udita, Monika, Lilima Minz, Neha, Sonika, Sharmila Devi, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Vandana Katariya, Navjot Kaur.