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.

History of Kabaddi World Cup

Kabaddi World cup was first organized in 2004, India were the hosts and inaugural champions.

Nine teams competed in this tournament consisting of two rounds. In the first round, teams were divided into three pools of four teams each, and followed round-robin format with each of the team playing all other teams in the pool once. Following the completion of the league matches, teams placed first and second in each pool advanced to a single elimination round consisting of four quarterfinals, two semifinal games, and a final.

In the Finals India defeated Iran (55–27) in the finals, with Bangladesh and Canada being 3rd and 4th.

The Second Kabaddi world cup was held in India in 2007.

Sixteen teams competed in tournament consisting of two rounds. In the first round, teams were divided into four pools of four teams each, and followed round-robin format with each of the team playing all other teams in the pool once. Following the completion of the league matches, teams placed first and second in each pool advanced to a single elimination round consisting of four quarterfinals, two semifinal games, and a final.

India defeated Iran again (29–19) to retain the title with Bangladesh and Japan placed at 3rd and 4th.

The World cup will be held for the third time in India.

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.

Indian cricket legend Kapil Dev unveiled the team jersey.

The squad:

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.

Player Analysis

Let us analyze the strength and weaknesses of Indian team in the world cup.

  1. Anup Kumar (Raider)

Position : Left Corner-in/Right Corner-in

Captain cool,MVP of Prokabaddi Season 1,Winner of Season 2 and Runner up in Season 3.

He has been India’s star raider and a charismatic captain who leads with example.

2. Manjeet Chhillar (All rounder)

Position : Left Cover/Left Corner

Vice captain, second in command and a sly clever fox in terms of Kabaddi strategies,he has always lead his team into the semifinals in Prokabaddi. Lion in terms of tackles and a fox during raiding. He gets hot-headed once in a while but with Anup to cool him off, depth of the team just increased.

3. Rahul Chaudhary (Raider)

Position: Middle/Left Corner-in

He can raid from both sides. He has been the most successful raider in the four seasons of PKL. Even when he was injured he gave his best for his team.

4. Pardeep Narwal (Raider)

Position: 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 Season 3 and 4.

5. Deepak Niwas Hooda (Raider)

Position: 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 Season 4.He can also contribute to defense.

6. Jasvir Singh (Raider)

Position: Left Corner-in/Right Corner-in

He is known for confusing the opponents’ defense, experienced and known for his scorpion kicks.

7. Ajay Thakur (Raider)

Position: Right Corner-in/Middle

He is skilled at overcoming lower body tackles.Coming out of the injury,unlikely to be in the first team.

8. Mohit Chhillar (Defender)

Position: Right Corner

One of the best defenders for Right Corner and is well known for his combination with Surender Nada.

9. Surender Nada (Defender)

Position: Left Corner.

Specialist Left corner defender and works well with Mohit Chhillar.

10. Surjeet (Defender)

Position: Right Cover

11. Dharmaraj Cherathalan (Defender)

Position:Right Corner/Right Cover

12. Nitin Tomar (All rounder)

Position: Right Cover/Middle

13: Sandeep Narwal (All Rounder)

Position: 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.

14. Kiran Parmar

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.

Team Analysis

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(he is more of a raider)in form of Nitin Tomar.

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)

Opponents

1.IRAN

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.