Feature

How Indian women’s hockey team fared in their last foreign trip

The last time India played on foreign soil was in New Zealand in January 2020

By Samrat Chakraborty ·

After almost a year, the Indian women's hockey team is set to return to action with their tour to Argentina. 

A strong squad, led by Rani Rampal, departed for Argentina on Sunday. India will, however, face a stern test against the second-ranked Argentina side. The four-match tour will commence from January 26. The visitors will play two practice matches against Argentina's junior and B sides before they take on the senior side.  

The last time India played on foreign soil was in New Zealand in January 2020 before the pandemic shut down sports across the world. The Rani Rampal-led side had come up with some encouraging performances.

A recap on how things panned for the Indian eves on their last foreign tour

Namita Toppo of India (Courtesy: Getty)

India tour of New Zealand, 2020 

The Indian team began 2020 with an exposure trip to New Zealand in January 2020.

Skipper Rampal was in the thick of things from the very beginning as she struck twice to help India register a confident 4-0 win over New Zealand development squad in the tour opener. Sharmila and Namita Toppo were the other two goal-scorers. 

The Indian team, however, failed to replicate the form against the senior New Zealand squad as they lost 1-2 in the second tour game.

The hosts opened the scoring as Megan Hull converted a penalty corner in the first quarter of the match. The one-goal deficit was cut short by India's Salima Tete from a penalty corner in the dying minutes of the first quarter. The second and third quarter saw an evenly matched contest between the sides before a defensive error allowed Hull to score the winner from the spot. 

The visitors then registered a 0-1 loss against New Zealand in the third match of the tour game. Hope Ralph had scored the lone goal of the match where India had put up a rock-solid performance in the defense to disallow New Zealand to convert a couple of penalties. 

The Indian eves, however, struck back in the next game as Rani Rampal scored the lone goal in their 1-0 win over Great Britain. Rampal sealed the deal for her side in the 47th minute.

India seemed to have saved their best for the last match as they thrashed New Zealand 3-0. Navneet Kaur (45th, 58th minute) struck a brace while Sharmila scored in the 58th minute to guide the visitors to a morale-boosting victory.