India’s thumping 57-20 win over Bangladesh in the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup was a testimony to the host nation’s reputation of being undisputed champions of the sport. On the brink of this fixture, they faced the possibility of an early exit from the competiton had they lost to their Eastern neighbours. However, Anup Kumar’s men put in a complete performance, a stellar one at that with most players playing to their potential and showing their true mettle, especially the likes of Ajay Thakur and Pardeep Narwal.
The bench strength was tested with most players taking to the mat, a clear indication of the in-depth might they posess as they unleashed their ruthless self. Coach Balwan Singh was instrumental behind-the-scenes for the Indian team, and he is of the opinion that it’s not just the 7 players on the day but the entire squad of fourteen that needs to be feared.
There was a flurry of substitutions being made on the day to ensure the likes of Ajay, Deepak, Pardeep Narwal, Sandeep and Mohit Chhillar, all get enough game time and at the same time unsettle the rivals with their unique style of play. He said, “Indeed they played an amazing game, also rest of the other players of the team collectively contributed in the victory. I must say this that each and every player of our team is a star, and equally, deserves the credit of the victory and deserves the equal respect for his performance.”
Defence, a key area of worry for the hosts, was bang on point in the game against Bangladesh. The strategy was clear, a tightened and water-tight defense from ensured that bonus points were not leaked, the Bangladeshi raiders were not given easy opportunities which built up the pressure on their depleted defense. At the same time, the Pardeep-Ajay duo ensured that the scoreboard kept ticking for the defending champions as they gathered points in heaps.
Strategies and tactics form the core of the Indian team and they will be equally threatening when they next lock horns against minnows Argentina. Speaking on this Balwan Singh assereted, “when it comes to Indian Team, we don't turn up with just one strategy, as the most important strategy comes out when the match starts, when we observe the situation and we accordingly decides the 'mix' of counter strategies to break the defence of the opponent.”
Deputy E. Bhaskaran added on in light of the Bangladesh game that, “We decided to be more technical and deployed experimentation of powerful 'Raiding', along with building up of a strong 'Defence', the Indian Team showcased their real technical skills rendering the opposition helpless."
We can, thus, be sure, that the hosts will try and replicate or rather put in a greater performance in the next match. This was echoed by the skipper when he said, "This game is unpredictable, we move on from our decided plan if we see our plans are not working out properly. Ajay Thakur, Pardeep Narwal contributed a lot in the match against Bangladesh. The unity and strength of Indian Team are the collective efforts, and we will continue to play such powerful, technical and experimental games.".
If at all there is one phrase to describe the mood of the Indian camp at the moment, it is ‘brimming with confidence’. The jolly gaffer, Balwan Singh, seems to be of the opinion that the team will surely win the trophy, “We are preparing for finals! Whatever would be needed to win the matches, will be deployed in our plannings and strategies, we just think of one thing, How to win the upcoming matches? That's it !" Anup Kumar is in synergy with the same thought when he said that, “Excitement is growing now, we will put in all our efforts, and will ensure it goes in the right direction”
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