As the Kabaddi World Cup is knocking at the door, India are expected to do well and clinch their reign as champions once again. Indian squad has been announced and here we take a look at the players who can make a significant mark in this world cup.
Anup Kumar: A composed Leader
In recent years, Anup has grown in stature and has become almost synonymous with the game.He is a respected player and the perfect man to lead Team India. A regular in the Indian team since 2006, he made his debut in the South Asian Games in Sri Lanka. He is a tactical mastermind, a talisman and someone each kabaddi player and fan looks up to for inspiration. He has a fantastic raiding ability but India will need his calm and composed mind in the middle of the mat also. At the age of 32, Anup Kumar is in his prime, and will be central to India’s World Cup campaign. In the tough times he shows his magic and takes his team out of trouble and he will be expected to marshal his troops towards the ultimate glory.
Rahul Chaudhari: The Golden Raider
Rahul Chaudhari personifies everything a top-class kabaddi raider should be. Already a regular in the national team, his presence among more experienced players adds flair, and gives a different dimension to attack. He is a composed man and generally has tremendous raiding ability. Sheer entertainment can be expected from him.
Surender Nada / Mohit Chhillar: The Duo in Defence
These are two players worth mentioning together. Surender Nada and Mohit Chhillar are key defensive players who have developed a solid partnership, rendering them a must in the starting line-up in any team they are part of. The defensive duo rose together first in Star Sports Pro Kabaddi for U Mumba, and very recently moved to Bengaluru Bulls. A rock-solid performance is expected from this deadly duo and hopefully they will make the corners their own. We can expect domination from them, lethal ankle holds and strong dashes must be their mode of tapping the raiders down.
Nitin Tomar: Baby face assasin
This young player is a joy to watch raiding. He has a good hand touch and his movements unsettle the defenses often. He came through the ranks of Bengal Warriors in the Pro Kabaddi and then joined Puneri Paltans. He also has a fare share of defending abilities, with a strong block and thigh hold being his main attributes. He may not get a lot of chances but if he gets, it will be a treat to see him creating havoc in the opponent’s defense.
Manjeet Chhillar: The Aggresive Maestro
An established star and a feared opponent in domestic and international kabaddi, Manjeet Chhillar is one of the best all-rounders in the game. His strength lies in his aggressive approach, especially during crunch ties, that will eventually give India an edge. He is a champion of his own game and a fantastic motivator. So his pep talks will also be key for the team,if at all it is required. He is a season campaigner and will carry a lot of hopes for India, but the only setback of his game is sometimes going with the motion. Being a passionate player, sometimes the emotion gets better of him and that leads to shifting of focus, which ultimately harms the team. He needs to keep himself ice cool this time and his fantastic abilities will speak the rest.
Deepak Hooda: The Flawless Champion
Deepak Hooda is such a player who generally is outstanding in raiding and can do a little bit of defending. He is expected to do the duties during the Do or Die raids. Also his swift escape and the ‘Dubkis’ going to be a special trick to watch and admire. But in case of Dubkis, do keep aneye on Pardeep Narwal as he is a specialist in that.
Dharamaraj Cheralathan: The experienced Wall
The old fox Cheralathan is going to be a pivotal part of India’s defense. The 41 year old is a lethal blocker and his ankle holds and dashes as a cover defender often results a bye bye for a raider. He has all the experience of the world and being a pro it will be fundamental for team India. Also he is a specialist in the super tackle situation, that is another reason to have him in the team.
Photo by Nagarjun