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Good to start season against tough teams, says Rani

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Good to start season against tough teams, says RaniBengaluru, Jan 23 (IANS) India women’s hockey team captain Rani has said that the team is looking forward to the New Zealand tour as it will give them a good boost for their preparations for the Tokyo Olympics slated to be held later in the year.

The Indian evers will take on New Zealand in four matches and also play against Great Britain’s National Squad in their 10-day tour that ends on February 5.

“We look forward to playing against higher ranked teams like New Zealand (World No.6) and Great Britain (World No.5),” said Rani ahead of team’s departure for Auckland.

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“This is our first tour of the season so naturally we want to do well as it will give us a good boost in our Olympic preparation. A good start against tough teams will matter a lot.

“While we have done well in the past against Great Britain, New Zealand is one team we look forward to do well against. They play tough, attacking hockey and they will be quite challenging,” she added.

Rani further said that the team feels analytical coach Janneke Schopman’s experience will help the team immensely in their Olympic Year. “I think it’s fantastic that she has joined our camp. We are excited to work with her and she knows our team well,” Rani said.

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India will play New Zealand Development squad on January 25, followed by two matches against New Zealand national team on January 27 and 29. They next play Great Britain on February 4 followed by another match against hosts New Zealand.

–IANS

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