Hockey

Rani Rampal believes Argentina tour will boost confidence ahead of Tokyo

India will play eight matches and captain Rani Rampal feels the impact of long camps can be assessed before the Olympics.

By Rahul Venkat ·

The Indian women’s hockey team will finally return to competitive action after almost a year when they travel to Argentina for a tour starting January 17.

It will be a perfect time, six months ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, to play again competitively and captain Rani Rampal was looking forward to a good showing against Argentina, who are ranked second in the world.

“If we play to our potential against Argentina, then we will attain (gain) a lot of confidence for the all-important Olympics, where we are aiming nothing short of a medal,” Rani Rampal said, according to Hockey India.

“Hopefully, we can make history in Tokyo and make our country proud. We are going to give our absolute best in every match we play this year.”

The Argentina tour will be a welcome return for the Indian women’s hockey team, who spent several months at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) campus in Bengaluru during the national lockdown in India.

The team then underwent a five-month national camp in Bengaluru, which concluded in December, and was on a short break before reconvening to travel to Argentina on January 3.

While there was palpable excitement among the squad to be back in international action, the tour will also provide perspective on how things have shaped up in terms of strategy and tactics.

“All the players in the team are feeling very confident about their games,” said Rani Rampal.

“It will be interesting to see how each one of them performs in a match situation after staying away from the international circuit for almost one year.”

The senior Indian women’s hockey team will play eight matches against Argentina on the tour – four against the senior Argentina team and two each against the junior teams and ‘B’ teams. The tour begins on January 17 and will end on January 31.

Lead Photo: Hockey India