Pushpa to lead India, injuries a worry

Pushpa to lead India, injuries a worry

HOPEFUL Indian coach Zoran Visic addresses the media as captain Pushpa Senthil Kumar looks on. DH Photo

India suffered a blow as two of their key players, Sanjana Ramesh and Vaishnavi Yadav, failed to make the 12-member squad for the FIBA under-18 women’s Asian basketball championship due to injuries.

In another disconcerting piece of news, Pushpa Senthil Kumar, named the captain of the side, is racing against time to be fit for the event beginning here on Sunday.

Guard Vaishnavi and centre Sanjana were the top performers of the side that earned promotion to Division ‘A’ in the FIBA U-16 championship in 2017. Sanjana is recovering from a knee injury for which she had a surgery on August 1 this year. Vaishnavi, meanwhile, is also down with a knee injury.

Pushpa, who was also part of that triumphant team, is battling an ankle injury she suffered a week ago during a training session. Ann Mary Zachariah and Sreekala Rani are other players from that side who have been included in the under-18 team.

Coach Zoran Visic did not delve too much into the absence of Sanjana and Vaishnavi. “Sanjana and Vaishnavi are two important players but it happens, they are young and have a lot of time,” said Visic.

Harshitha Bopaiah is Karnataka’s lone representative in the squad. 

Meanwhile, the Basketball Federation of India presented kits to the Indian players. BFI has announced a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh if the team earn promotion to Division A.

Indian team: Pushpa Senthil Kumar (captain), Arya A Sreeramaneni, Sakshi Sharma, Dharshini Thirunavukkarasu, Harshitha Bopaiah, Srishti Suren, Ishwarya Janardhan, Sreekala Rani, Gulabsha Ali, Ann Mary Zachariah, Anumaria Shaju, Sudhantika Chakrvorthy. Coach: Zoran Visic; Assistant coaches: Thankachan MC, Priyanka Bhandari. Manager: Rajan R.

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