New Delhi: Gearing up for the Women's Champions Challenge after a successful build-up campaign in their recent tour of Europe, Indian women's hockey captain Ritu Rani said the team is well-prepared to face the toughest of oppositions in the big event starting on Sunday in Glasgow.
India will be playing their first match against Korea in Pool A and the team boasts of seven players -- Deep Grace Ekka, Monika, Lily Chanu, Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya, Namita Toppo and P Sushila Chanu -- from the U-21 squad that bagged bronze in the Junior World Cup in Germany last year.
With experienced Ritu and Deepika, who have played more than 100 international matches, the team is looking to put up a great show during the tournament.
Speaking on the expectations, Ritu said, "We are fully prepared for the Champions Challenge 1, it will be an exciting tournament with challenges while playing against top ranked countries of the world. Korea is a tough team but girls are fully confident of doing well. We will go by our planned strategies game by game."
With the world's top teams competing to lift the title at the eighth Women's Champions Challenge 1, India, currently ranked 13th in the world, will have a tough task against 8th ranked Korea.
Speaking on the tournament and opening game against Korea, coach Neil Hawgood said, "We can't take anything lightly in this tournament. First game against Korea will be challenging as the opponents are coming off a 6 nations tournament against the top teams of the World in New Zealand.
"We also had good preparation before this tournament, playing three matches against Ireland. As we prepare for Asian Games to be held later this year, this is a test of what we need to do to be able to directly qualify for 2016 Olympics in October."
India will face Scotland in their second match on April 28, followed by Belgium on April 30.