The Indian contingent, comprising of both men and women won the Asian Kabaddi Championship and are now the official kings and queens of World Kabaddi circuit.
The Indian men’s team who are also the reigning world champions, defeated arch rivals Pakistan 36-22 in the finals of the Asian Kabaddi Championship. The women’s team comprehensively drubbed South Korea with 42-20 score line.
Ajay Thakur Inspires the Boys
The men’s charge was held strong by Tamil Thalaivas’ skipper Ajay Thakur, who proved his capabilities as a world class raider once again and stamped his authority over the tournament.
For the second time in a week, Ajay Thakur proved to be the decisive man for India. He was the catalyst who edged the neighbours to win the Gold medal in Asian Kabaddi Championship.
In the final, Thakur displayed a sublime performance and demolished the opposition’s defensive line with his fast pace raids. He got adequate support by our very own “Dubki King” Pardeep Narwal and Maninder Singh in the raids. The trio had the Pakistani defence in all sorts of problem throughout the match.
Thakur’s raiding skills allowed the men in blue to get off to a flying start and threw the opposition’s plan of a comeback out of the window.
The men in green from Pakistan had revenge on their minds. Just a few days back they suffered a loss to Indians in the group stage. However, the boys were showing no signs of letting up and forced a 25-10 lead at the halfway mark.
With the match firmly under their grip, the Indian team just had to keep their composure in the second-half to see off the victory.
In the early group stage matches, Thakur scored 12 raid points. Maninder Singh chipped in with 11 points to provide India a clinical 44-18 victory over the neighbours.
Of the 44 points scored, 30 points came via raids. This not only proves the Indian team’s attacking prowess, but defined the team as an aggressive outlet.
The Indian Kabaddi team was ruthless in group stages and humbled the likes of Iraq by 61-21, Japan 82-16 and Afghanistan 103-25.
The experience of Haryana Steelers captain Surender Nada also came to the forefront as he put up a clinical performance to keep the Pakistani raiders at bay.
Tactically, Coach Rambir Singh Khokkar preferred the aggressive all-rounder over Mohit Chhillar. This, despite the latter’s understanding with manning the left corner for Surender Nada.
The second corner was manned and managed by Puneri Paltan’s aggressive all-rounder Sandeep Narwal. He made a case for himself after an impressive display in the initial matches of the tournament.
However, Sandeep Narwal repaid the coach’s faith with a dutiful performance at the right corner and punctured Pakistan’s raiding endeavours.
Narwal who came in as a replacement for Surinder Nada’s usual partner Mohit Chhillar, managed to use his grips to good effect against the opposition raiders.
Ajay Thakur and co. completed the game with great domination. The Pakistani players were outclassed and outplayed by Indians. We registered a comfortable 14-point victory over their arch-rivals and crowned Asian champions.
Indian Women Rout South Korea in Asian Kabaddi Championship
Not just the men, but our women also made India proud at the Asian level. The women triumphed in the at the Championship final after beating South Korea 42-20 to clinch Gold.
Indian raiders created pressure right from the start claiming three bonus points in the opening raids. The aggressive play from India was too heavy to handle for the Koreans. They gave away numerous touch points to the raiders thereafter in an attempt to force parity in the contest.
As it happened….
The women’s team began the match on a high note. They kept the score ticking with several touch points to take a narrow, but deserved 19-12 lead at the halfway mark.
After an aggressive start, the Indian team stayed on top and pushed the South Koreans to their limits. The Korean defence tried a number of advanced tackles to try and stop the Indian onslaught. It worked to our advantage as the lead increased during the half time.
The second half kicked off with Indian team displaying high tempo and intensity. To add more points on the scoreboard they made things tougher for their Asian counterparts. After this there was no looking back for the Indians. They stepped up a few gears in the second-half to completely dismantle the Korean defence.
As the match intensified a second all-out was on the cards for the Korean team. The girls held the opposition raiders and the Banani Sahi-coached Indian women’s team ran off with a comfortable margin.
The second all-out after the halftime buried the hopes of a contest, allowing India to cruise to a 22-point victory. Constant monitoring and encouragement from coach Banani Sahi proved handy to our girls as raiding tactics were swift and defence was strong.
Takeaways from the Tournament
- The India team travelled to Iran without captain cool Anup Kumar, was not considered in the list of probables.
- His place was given to another legend of Indian Kabaddi Ajay Thakur, who came forward as an inspiring leader that led his side to comfortable victories right from the group stages to the finals. Thakur was responsible for the primary raiding duties for the side and most of time was successful in all his raids.
- Another takeaway or talking point of the championship was surrounded around raiders Rohit Kumar and Rahul Chaudhari.
- Indian fans were disappointed as star raiders and Pro Kabaddi megastars, did not get to perform in the big games. In the fifth edition of PKL both the raiders had an impressive outing. Everyone expected them to take the mat in critical encounters, given the experience and skill they possess.
Is the current Indian team the best in the world?
India’s dominant run in the Asian championship has raised the question as to, is there any match for our boys at the world stage?
If anyone can manage or even come closer to challenging us in the near future, would ideally be great for the overall competition in the sport.
Such was dominance of our victories that South Korea, who defeated us at the 2016 World Cup, was absolutely no match in the semi-final, which ended in a one sided score line of 45-29.
Pakistan defeated the mighty Iranians in the semis. They played two matches against us, but didn’t even come close to upset the Indian side.
The Asian Championships does highlight the widening gap of talent and skill that exists between India and the rest of the world.
Team KreedOn can confidently say that in near future no team can come close to matching the high standards set by our boys.