When India tours New Zealand next month it has everything to fight for. In its build up to the Commonwealth Games, spectators can be assured of a fiery clash between the Indian women’s team and the Black Sticks Women.
The Indian women’s team has established itself as a medal winner in the Commonwealth Games, having placed silver and gold respectively in the past two Games.
However, this year the Black Sticks Women are keen to even the record and fight for a place on the medal podium.
Black Sticks Women’s Coach, Mark Hager, says having the chance to play the Indian women at home is all part of his build up to several key events later in the year.
“We already have two international test series under our belt, and this makes it the trifecta. I’m looking for a win, given the current rankings of both teams, but we can never underestimate the Indian team.
“The Black Sticks team has a huge year of hockey in front of them, and every game which builds our international exposure helps towards this.”
New Zealand is currently ranked 9th women’s team in the world and India is 13th.
In line with Hager’s strategy to develop his squad for key competitions later in the year (Champions Trophy and Commonwealth Games), he has again picked a young squad. He has also included two players from the Development Squad too – Alana Millington and Amanda Green.
Gemma Flynn has joined the more experienced Black Sticks players such as Kayla Sharland, Emily Naylor and Krystal Forgesson, along with Katie Glynn, to play in various European leagues. As a result these players are not available for this series. Stacey Carr was not selected due to injury.
The five test India Series runs from 15-23 May. The test match dates and locations are:
Test 1, Saturday 15 May, 14.00, Endeavour Trust Twin Turfs, Palmerston North
Test 2, Sunday 16 May, 14.00, Endeavour Trust Twin Turfs, Palmerston North
Test 3, Wednesday 19 May, 19.00, Kelt Capital Hockey Stadium, Napier
Test 4, Saturday 22 May, 13.00, National Hockey Stadium, Wellington
Test 5, Sunday 23 May, 14.30, National Hockey Stadium, Wellington
Team New Zealand: Kate Saunders, Piki Hamahona, Ella Gunson, Beth Jurgeleit, Clarissa Eshuis, Lucy Talbot, Stacey Brannigan, Sam Harrison, Cathryn Finlayson, Anna Thorpe, Laura Douglas, Kate Mahon, Natasha Fitzsimons, Charlotte Harrison, Jasmin McQuinn, Bianca Russell, Stacey Michelsen, Anita Punt. Development Squad Selections: Alana Millington, Amanda Green.
Source: Hockey New Zealand
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