The Indian women’s basketball team starts its FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2021 campaign with a stern test against the Tokyo 2020 Olympics silver medallists and defending champions Japan on September 27 at the Prince Hamza Hall in Amman, Jordan.
Grouped alongside Japan, South Korea and New Zealand in Group A of the event, India will need to dig deep if they are to make the semi-finals of the event on October 2. The final is on October 3.
Group B features China, Australia, Chinese Taipei and the Philippines.
The top team from each group progresses directly to the semis.
Meanwhile, the second-placed team from Group B will face the third-placed team from Group A and the third-placed team from Group B will play the second-placed team from Group A in the play-offs.
The winners of the two play-off matches join the group winners in the semi-finals.
The FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2021 also acts as the Asia and Oceania qualification for the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup to be held in Australia. The top four teams from the continental showpiece will make it to the World Cup.
India, ranked 70th in the world, hosted the previous two editions of the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup in 2017 and 2019, but failed to make their home advantage count on both occasions.
At the 2017 edition, India topped Division B - the lower tier of the competition - to earn a right to play in Division A - the higher tier - in the next edition. In 2019, however, India finished at the bottom of the standings with a 0-4 win/loss record.
Since India finished at the bottom of Division A in 2019, they were relegated to Division B again but since FIBA could not organise the Division B event in the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, India retained its place in the eight-country Division A for the upcoming edition.
The Indian women’s basketball team, coached by Zoran Visic, will look up to the experience of captain Shireen Limaye, the country's top scorer at the last edition, Stephy Nixon, Jeena Skaria and Anmolpreet Kaur to lead them at the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2021.
FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2021: Indian basketball team schedule, fixtures and live match start times
All times are in India Standard Times (IST)
27 September: Japan vs India - 12:30 PM IST
28 September: India vs South Korea - 3:30 PM IST
29 September: New Zealand vs India - 3:30 PM IST
Where to watch India’s FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2021 live?
India basketball team for the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2021
Squad: Shireen Limaye (captain), Madhu Kumari, Sruthi Arvind, S. Pushpa, P.U. Navaneetha, S. Sathiya, M. Nishanthi, Vaishnavi Yadav, Sreekala Rani, Anumaria, Stephy Nixon, S.M. Sahana
Head coach: Zoran Visic
Coaches: Srinivas Murthy and M. Meenalatha
Physiotherapist: Ahana Puranik