Germany tour will be test of skills, fitness: Rani

The Indian women’s hockey team’s fitness and skills will be tested during their tour of Germany and will be valuable match practice in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics, said captain Rani Rampal. The team is set to face world No.3 Germany in four matches starting on Saturday.

This is India’s second assignment since their tour of Argentina that ended earlier this month. “It is going to be a totally different experience than the Argentina tour. From our skills to fitness level, everything will be tested, and that’s what we as a team want,” said Rani.

“It will be a challenging tour for us, considering we will be playing back-to-back matches, but I feel we are up for any kind of challenges thrown at us. To be honest, there’s no extra pressure as such. Our priority, for now, is to get into that competitive frame of mind. The experience of playing against a top team like Germany will really add value to our preparations for the Olympic Games,” Rani, 26, added.

The team had returned from their tour of Argentina on February 4 and they reached Germany on February 23.

“Argentina tour helped us gain confidence, and we are really boosted for our next assignment. These back-to-back tours in a short span are like golden opportunities for us. We are just months away from the Tokyo Olympics, and these matches against top teams will help us in finding loopholes and gain momentum before the Games,” said Rani.

India play back to back matches against Germany on Saturday and Sunday. After a day’s break, the two sides face each other in consecutive games again on March 2 and 3.