Landslide victories have been a common feature at the Kabaddi World Cup 2016, and India finally came to the party in style when they defeated minnows Argentina 74-20, the highest ever margin in the tournament so far.
Since the shock defeat against South Korea, India have become better with every passing match, especially with key players such as Ajay Thakur, Manjeet Chhillar, Surjeet and Surender Nada putting in spectacular performances.
With such a complete display of skills and talent, the team would surely take a moment to rejoice the win that would bolster their confidence going into the semi-finals. Anup Kumar, the skipper, commented on the growing popularity of the sport in the country when he said that, “Our time has arrived! I must say, kabaddi is the game of 'Future India'. Kabaddi will soon cross over to cricket. I want to thank my country's people for backing us with tremendous support.
“We will continue to put more hard work in our efforts. We just want to ensure we will not let anyone to take away the Trophy.”
E.Bhaskaran, the deputy coach of the Indian team is of the opinion that it the strategies and well-thought out tactics that have worked for the team.
"It became easy because of the technical and experimental style of playing and we also had great team work, such a great margin win was hence much needed.”
The rolling substitutions with most players given game time to ensure they are at their peak coupled with cohesiveness within the playing seven proved that the Indian team were more than just pricey customers for Argentina.
Moreover, while the first half saw Manjeet and Surjeet combine in the central defence, with both players claiming a High 5 with their tackles, it was Surender Nada who put on a superb display of classic tackles with the signature ankle hold to notch up 7 points out of the team’s total of 24 tackle points.
The 30-year old, Ajay Thakur entered the tournament with questions looming over his selection. since he had not been able to back his reputation with his form in the recent past. But once he puts on the Blue jersey; the tall, lanky raider is like a man possessed with the intention of winning and that has been evident with him scoring a massive 11 raid points and also assisting in the defence with 3 tackle points.
Coming on as a substitute for Ajay in the second half, was the poster boy of Indian kabaddi, Rahul Chaudhari who had not seen great performances from his own end since the upset against Korea. But the Argentina fixture was a different story altogether, where he ripped apart the oppositions’ defence with such effect that grabbed points at will at such a fast pace that he raced towards a Super 10 within few minutes.
This statement of intent and the win will surely make the Iranian team nervous, whom the Indians are most likely to lock horns against in the semi-finals.