Experienced striker Saba Anjum will lead an 18-member Indian women's hockey team to Australia next month for a four-match Test series against the hosts followed by a three-nation nine-a-side International Super Series tournament.
The team, which was picked yesterday after the trials at at SAI Centre Bhopal, will start its tour with the first Test against Australia on October 14 before heading to Perth on October 20 to compete in the inaugural nine-a-side event. Besides India and Australia, the nine-a-side tournament, to be held under the aegis of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), will also feature Malaysia.
This is the first time such a tournament is being played internationally and the organisers have coincided the event with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at Perth. The format is played on the normal field but with several changes like an additional one meter wider goal. One player must be in the attacking half at all times while the format allows only two defenders besides the goalkeeper to stop penalty corners. There must not be more than four players from the attacking team for taking the penalty corners.
The players also need to stand outside the 23 meter line before they receive the out push from the back line and the penalty corner must be executed within 25 seconds. However, in case of long corners it is five players versus five. Again the attackers have to be outside the 23 meter area.