Will India lift the Kabaddi World cup again?
The Kabaddi World Cup 2016 held at Ahmedabad will bring nations of diverse geographies — the US, England, Australia, Iran, Poland, Thailand, Bangladesh, South Korea, Japan, Argentina, Kenya and hosts India — together fighting it out for the top prize beginning October 7.
Two-time Asian Games gold medalist Anup Kumar was named India’s captain and he will lead an all star Prokabaddi team in the tournament where India are the favorites, but are expecting the tournament to be more competitive than ever this year. It will be the biggest challenge that the Indian team has faced in recent times.
Anup Kumar (Captain), Ajay Thakur, Deepak Hooda, Dharmaraj Cheralathan, Jasvir Singh, Kiran Parmar, Manjeet Chhillar(Vice Captain), Mohit Chhillar, Nitin Tomar, Pardeep Narwal, Rahul Chaudhuri, Sandeep Narwal, Surender Nada, Surjeet.
This is India’s All star Team because, in every playing position, India has an immensely talented player with a very good backup in case of injury/bad form. Anup Kumar is unparalleled as a raider or as a captain cool with an uncanny knack of assessing match situations and turning it in the team’s favor. Manjeet Chhillar is a giant of the sport and perhaps the world’s best defender and a very experienced second in command.
On the other hand, there are dynamic young players like Rahul Chaudhari and Pardeep Narwal who can single-handedly win matches with their performances as they have done it time and again in Pro Kabaddi League
Anup Kumar walked away with the Most Valuable Player award in Season 1, Manjeet Chhillar in Season 2, and Pardeep Narwal in Season 4. Rahul Chaudhari won the Best Raider Award in Season 1 and 4. With a strong squad, it will be a chance for the Indian team to put up a stellar show during the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup.
Let us analyze the strength and weaknesses of Indian team in the world cup.
|Anup Kumar||Raider||Left Corner-in/Right Corner-in||Captain cool,MVP of PKL S1. Winner of S2.
He has been India’s star raider and a charismatic captain who leads by example.
|Manjeet Chhillar||All rounder||Left Cover/Left Corner||Vice captain, second in command and a Kabaddi strategist, he has always lead his team into the semifinals in PKL. He gets hot-headed once in a while but with Anup to cool him off, depth of the team just increased.|
|Rahul Chaudhary||Raider||Middle/Left Corner-in||He can raid from both sides. He has been the most successful raider in the four seasons of PKL.|
|Pardeep Narwal||Raider||Middle/Left Corner-in||Sharp minded raider famous for his ‘dubki’. He can get multiple points in a single raid and has been the best raider for Patna for PKL S3 and 4.|
|Deepak Niwas Hooda||Raider||Left Corner-in/Left Cover||A very talented young raider who is very consistent. Played a crucial role in India’s SAF games victory and in Puneri Paltan’s performance in S4.He can also contribute to defense.|
|Jasvir Singh||Raider||Left Corner-in/Right Corner-in||He is known for confusing the opponents’ defense, experienced and known for his scorpion kicks.|
|Ajay Thakur||Raider||Right Corner-in/Middle||He is skilled at overcoming lower body tackles. Coming out of the injury, unlikely to be in the first team.|
|Mohit Chhillar||Defender||Right Corner||One of the best defenders for Right Corner and is well known for his combination with Surender Nada.|
|Surender Nada||Defender||Left Corner||Specialist Left corner defender and works well with Mohit Chhillar.|
|Dharmaraj Cherathalan||Defender||Right Corner/Right Cover|
|Nitin Tomar||All rounder||Right Cover/Middle|
|Sandeep Narwal||All rounder||Right Corner/Right Cover||He can be put on any side of the mat and a is a great raider from the left. A good right corner defender and can also work well in right cover.|
|Kiran Parmar||All rounder||He is a smart raider as well as defender. Relatively unknown Bengaluru Bulls player in this star studded team.|
Really surprised to see Rohit Kumar with his stellar perfromances in Pro Kabaddi did not make the team.
Raiding department strong with Anup, Pardeep and Rahul with able support from Deepak Hooda, Ajay and Jasvir.
Defending department is also strong as there is at least two players for every position, the only weak spot which can be identified could be right cover where Surjeet has to ply his trade alone with a feeble defender in form of Nitin Tomar (he is more of a raider).
Probable Starting Seven
Mohit Chillar (Right Corner), Anup Kumar (Right Corner-in),Surjeet (Right Cover), Pardeep Narwal (Middle), Manjeet Chillar (Left Cover), Rahul Chaudhary (Left Corner-in), Surender Nada (Left corner)
One of the strongest opponents India could face are Iran. They too have a star studded team from Prokabaddi. With Fazel Atrachali and Hadi Oshtorak manning Left and Right corner in Defense and Abolfazel and Mohammed Maghsoudlou for raiding, they definitely are the team to beat after India.
Don’t forget the all rounder Meraj Sheykh who has given phenomenal performances in Prokabaddi strengthens this team more.
India is likely to face Iran in the Finals as they are in different groups and are likely to be leaders in their respective groups.
2. South Korea
India has to face them in the league stages and they too have a strong side lead by Jang Kun Lee and Taek Deok Eom with plenty of experience in the Indian scenario.