Asunta Lakra, a Jharkhandi, for last many years she has silently served Indian Women’s Hockey Team as a hardworking mid-fielder.
Asunta was again selected to be a part of the women’s hockey team that would tour Australia to participate the upcoming 4 test-series followed by 3-nations tournament among India, Australia and Malaysia. Like Asunta, many good hockey players like Subhadra Pradhan, Roselyn Kerketta and others are eagerly awaiting to get the chances to represent India. As in the last National Games, Jharkhand Women’s Hockey Team reached final only to be stopped by Haryana Team.
The selected hockey squad for the Australia trip is as under:
|1||Goalkeepers:||Yogita Bali, E. Rajani|
|2||Defenders:||Joydeep Kaur, Preety Sunila Kiro, Jaspreet Kaur|
|3||Mid-fielders:||Asunta Lakra, Kirandeep Kaur, Ritu Rani, P. Sushila Chanu, Mukta Parva Barla, Deepika,|
|4||Forwards:||Saba Anjum (Captain), Jasjeet Kaur Handa (Vice-Captain), Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya, Rani Soundarya Yendala, Rosalin Dung Dung, and|
|5||Standby:||Savita (Goalkeeper), Pinki Devi (Defender), M.N. Ponnamma, Kiran Dahiya (Mid-fielders), Rashmi Singh (Forward).|
The hockey test series would commence on 14th October. The schedule for the Test Series is as under:
14th October: 1st Test vs. Australia
15th October: 2nd Test vs. Australia
17th October: 3rd Test vs. Australia
18th October: 4th Test vs. Australia
On 20th October to participate in inaugural 9-a-side hockey tournament Indian Team would travel to Perth. The schedule for the Tournament is as follows:
20th October: India vs. Malaysia (2 matches)
21st October: India vs. Australia (2 matches)
22nd October: India vs. Malaysia (2 matches)
23rd October: India vs. Australia (2 matches)
It is followed by Final match between the top two teams.
For the first time, 9-a-side tournament is being played at international-level; it has following sets of unique rules:
- It is played on a normal field but with an additional one meter wide goal-post.
- One player must be in the attacking half at all the times.
- Only 2 players besides goalkeepers can defend penalty corners.
- Only 4 players from the attacking team can take penalty corners. Also players need to stand outside the 23 meter line before they receive the out push from the back-line and the penalty corners must be executed within 25 seconds.
- For long-corners, attackers have to be outside the 23 meter area and it is 5 players vs. 5 players.
- The match lasts for 30 minutes divided into 2 halves of 15 minutes each.
- If the scores are levelled even after the regulation time then the penalty shootouts is used to decide the winner.
Asunta Lakra has done well to consistently represent Indian Women’s Hockey Team, as the mid-fielders rarely grab as much headline as say the forwards who get greater opportunities to score goals or the defenders / goal-keepers who save these important goals. Yet everyone in team knows that the roles of good mid-fielders are invaluable, especially as playmakers, they control the flow and pace of the game.
Hopefully, this time Indian Women’s Hockey Team shall put up a good performance in Australia.
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