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“Every match and tournament is a do-or-die situation for us” – India captain Savita Punia ahead of FIH Women’s World Cup

Punia also led the Indian team in their last fixture in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021-22 where India defeated USA 4-0.

Abhishek Sandikar Author

Updated - 24 June 2022 10:09 pm

India women’s hockey team goalkeeper Savita Punia has opened up about leading the team in the upcoming World Cup. The Haryana-born talked about the excitement of playing in the global tournament. She also pointed out her responsibilities in the leadership role. Punia also led the Indian team in their last fixture in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021-22. 

Savita Punia said, “Of course, I am excited for the World Cup. Everyone is excited as a big tournament is arriving after the Olympics. I also have a responsibility as a leader. We are all focused on our job.” She was also asked about the raised expectations on India women’s hockey after an incredible Tokyo Olympics to which she had an equally positive response.

“This did not happen by a chance. We achieved this by playing good hockey. Our level has increased as well. We started working on big tournaments just after the Olympics, with the same way and motivation. We also have goals that we want to achieve. For that, every match and tournament is a do-or-die situation for us. We will try showing our great hockey to all,” Savita Punia added.

These youngsters since they have a lot of energy and motivation and they put in a lot of effort: Punia

Savita Punia also addressed the absence of the team’s regular captain Rani Rampal, who is currently recovering from an injury. The 31-year-old talked about how Rampal has been a great player for the team for a long time. “Senior players do help but our youngsters also have a lot of energy. I feel lucky playing with these youngsters since they have a lot of energy and motivation and they put in a lot of effort. So we try to play and fight as a team,” Savita Punia said.

The pain was immense: Rampal

Rani Rampal has been dealing with a hamstring injury and left the Indian squad for Brussels in order to get better. Addressing her injury, Savita Punia said, “After Tokyo Olympics, yes, I had an injury in my hamstring. The pain was immense. The doctor told me that it will take some time to recover fully and I too thought, let’s take the time to get fully fit and only then return. Half-hearted khelne se kuch fayda nahi.”

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