Preview: England and India prepare for Pool B opener

Eng v Ind
With a sell-out crowd of 10,000 heading to Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Saturday for the first day of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup, the atmosphere as hosts England take on India will be one to remember.

Both sides will be desperate to make their mark on the tournament and in their group immediately, with the USA and Ireland making up the other sides the pool B is shaping up to be a competitive one.

The sides last met twice at the Commonwealth Games in April where India defeated England in their group match as goals from Navneet Kaur and Gurjit Kaur cancelled out Alex Danson’s opener.

However England had their revenge in the bronze medal match as they ran out clear winners in a 6-1 victory. Doubles from Danson and Sophie Bray as well as strikes from Hollie Pearne-Webb and Laura Unsworth leading the side to victory.

Rani Rampal, aged just 23 and with over 200 international caps, will lead India once again an with her skills and goal scoring capabilities will be one to watch.

Looking ahead to the match Rani said: “I think that all players live for these games, playing against the hosts will be special. When it comes to it we should enjoy it and I’m sure lots of Indian fans will be there to support us and we are very excited for the game.

“We won and lost against England at the Commonwealth Games in April but we learnt a lot from those encounters and we will see on Saturday if we can put that into practice!”