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2016 Kabaddi World Cup: Will play with more focus and defensive strategies, says Indian captain Anup Kumar

Vidhi Shah
675   //    09 Oct 2016, 16:34 IST
Pardeep Narwal of India attempts to score a raid point against Australia.

Yesterday, the host nation, India played true to their potential in the encounter against Australia, a relatively inexperienced side, and notched up a massive win under their belt. The Men-in-Blue had received a wake-up call from the spirited South Korean side a day before and the defending champions had a case in point to prove against the debutants from Down Under.

Their aggressiveness was at its peak and a determined seven moved ahead in a tandem as they raced to a 10-0 lead well under opening five minutes of the match. India got their basics right, the Manjeet Chhillar and Deepak Hooda combine in the defence was akin to a wall and they cashed in on the mistakes of the Australian team to put forth a performance that matched their reputation. 

Also read: 5 talking points from India's win over Australia

Speaking on the same, at the post match conference, Anup Kumar stated that the team has to play with more focus, “Victory is victory, after our unexpected loss against South Korea yesterday each match has become important for us, after the major set back, we had one thing on our mind, just play with the more focus and with the great defensive strategies.” 

This approach was clearly evident with the flow of the game, with India inflicting a total of four all-out’s on their rivals and at the same time not handing over a single tackle point to their loose defence. 

Change in starting line-up for India

The starting line-up was changed for yesterday’s encounter and more players from the younger lot were given a chance to showcase their prowess in the likes of Deepak Hooda, Pardeep Narwal, Sandeep Narwal and Ajay Thakur.

Anup Kumar added on, “Each team is strong here, So in time of a crisis like situation our junior players play an important role especially when all the senior player like myself, Manjeet and Cheralathan go out of the ground. We realised the importance of patience and we will continue to hit on hard in upcoming matches in similar fashion.”

Also read: Kabaddi World Cup 2016: Meet the captains and coaches of the 12 teams

Big wins for Bangladesh and Iran

Earlier in the day yesterday, neighbours Bangladesh had scripted a huge-margin win over England while the power-house Iranian team had achieved a thumping victory over the USA. India will play Bangladesh on 11 October and probably meet Iran post the qualifying stage.

When asked about preparations for such fixtures, Anup said, “We will role out the best possible strategies according to the situations, we are ready and quite excited to play against the mighty Bangladesh and in fact also hope to have a great game against Argentina.”

All-rounder Kiran Parmar was brought on as a substitute in the second half of the match yesterday, he scored four points while raiding in the short time that he had to prove his skills. According to him playing in the Gujarati heartland of Ahmedabad eases out the pressure that the World Cup brings on due to home support, he was quoted as saying, “I am proud about our team, I was confident enough for the game and with the cheering from local audience the match became more memorable for me, I hope to see great support for our team from the people in upcoming matches".

The Men In Blue will next be seen in action on Tuesday when they take the challenge across to Bangladesh, who are also riding high on confidence courtesy of their 52-18 win over England.

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