India take on England in their last league fixture of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup in a crucial encounter, where the home team will be looking to make it to the semi-final. The host nation, on a roll in the tournament, will be looking to seal a spot in the final four to set up a potential clash with Iran, who were shocked by Poland in the most unexpected match of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup yesterday.
Technically, India can qualify for the sem-final even if they lose to England, given the margin of defeat is seven points or less. Bangladesh are the other team that can qualify for the semi-final but for that to happen, India would need to lose to England by a huge margin while their neighbours would need to defeat Argentina by a huge margin, something that they did to Australia.
The 2016 Kabaddi World Cup has turned out to be much more interesting and the fact India’s qualification to the semi-final has not been confirmed till the last fixture show the quality of teams on display. However, after the slip-up against South Korea, India have stormed back euphorically in the tournament by winning three matches on the trot (Australia, Bangladesh and Argentina). The Indian attack, which was looking a little dull in the first two matches, has come into its own in the last two matches.
Individually speaking, Ajay Thakur and Manjeet Chhillar have run the show for India and are likely to feature in the starting line-up alongside Anup Kumar, Surjeet, Dharmaraj Cheralathan, Sandeep Narwal and Pardeep Narwal. Rahul Chaudhari, Mohit Chhillar and Surender Nada have also gained some sort of confidence in the past couple of matches and that is likely to benefit India in this crucial encounter.
England, on the other hand, are out of contention for a spot in the semi-final but will be looking to make life tough for India and end the tournament with a win. They have managed to perform exceptionally well in the tournament, winning two out of the four contests till now. However, this will be England's toughest match of the tournament till now and they would need to be wary of the Indian attack.
Their captain Someshwar Kalia and raider Keshav Gupta have performed at a top level and will be looking to continue the same against India. England’s defence will need to stifle the threat posed by India’s raiding department and reducing the number of bonus points taken is going to help them reduce the damage. Furthermore, England need to avoid being pro-active by playing a high-line of defence as that could have an adverse effect on their performance.
The Indian team has obvious momentum in its favour and considering the form they are in at the moment, there is a good chance of England being rolled over by the hosts. India are going to have a go at England from the word go and there will be no conservatism from the Men in Blue. One can also expect Anup Kumar, Ajay Thakur and Pardeep Narwal to do the bulk of the raiding while Sandeep Narwal and Manjeet Chhillar are likely to produce some advance tackles.
England would be expecting a top class performance from Someshwar Kalia and Keshav Gupta, who will need to score right from the word go. A good way of stopping India from getting away with a win would be to keep Anup Kumar and Manjeet Chhillar off the mat because those two are leaders in attack and defence, respectively. Should England be defensive and conservative, they could manage to come close to beating India.
Verdict: India to beat England by a margin of 30+
Venue: The Arena by TransStadia, Ahmedabad
Time: 21:00 IST
Live Telecast: Star Sports 2, Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD2, Star Sports HD3, Hotstar
India: Anup Kumar (Captain), Rahul Chaudhari, Manjeet Chhillar, Jasvir Singh, Deepak Niwas Hooda, Pardeep Narwal, Mohit Chhillar, Surender Nada, Surjeet, Ajay Thakur, Dharmaraj Cheralathan, Kiran Parmar, Nitin Tomar, Sandeep Narwal
England: Someshwar Kalia (Captain), Keshav Gupta, Akash Sood, Jay Depala, Joshua Cherian Enson, Mason Swaran Ghazanfar Dhani-Ali, Meredydd Rowan Rix, Nikesh FarmahPavan Davies, Philip Nicholas George Mottram, Tejash Depala, Yuvraj Pandeya, Milan Nayee, Temi Tope Adewalure