5 players who could become captain of the Indian Kabaddi Team at South Asian Games 2019
The 2019 South Asian Games is set to commence from 1st December and will go on until 10th December 2019 in Kathmandu-Pokhara, Nepal. India have been the most successful team at the South Asian Games, with nine gold medals in the Kabaddi event since 1985.
Former Indian captain Ajay Thakur was one of the notable absentees in the list of players selected for the coaching camp of the Indian team. The likes of Siddharth Desai, Rohit Kumar, Maninder Singh, and Surjeet Singh were some of the other prominent names who missed out as well.
According to sources close to Sportskeeda, a few of these players were excluded owing to the fact that they hadn't participated in the 66th Senior National Kabaddi Championship earlier this year. Since the performances in the Pro Kabaddi League do not count as the measuring stick for the selection, those who performed well at the Nationals were picked in the list of probables.
Thakur led the Indian team to gold at the 2017 Asian Kabaddi Championship and 2018 Kabaddi Masters tournament in Dubai, while he was also the captain of the Indian Team that lost in the semifinals of the 2018 Asian Games, losing out from a gold medal for the first time since the addition of kabaddi at the global tournament.
A new skipper with a revamped Indian Kabaddi team will look to clinch their 10th gold medal at the 2019 South Asian Games, as they begin their title defence after winning the last edition of kabaddi at the competition back in 2016.
Let's take a look at five players who could be trusted with the job of leading the Indian side at the 2019 South Asian Games.
#5 Pardeep Narwal
Pardeep Narwal has been a part of the Indian Kabaddi Team since the team won the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup. He was also a part of the gold-medal winning side of the 2017 Asian Kabaddi Championship and 2018 Kabaddi Masters Dubai.
Although Pardeep Narwal hasn't been up to his level in the international scene, he has performed better every time he has led the offense on his own. Pardeep as the captain for Indian Team could see him leading the raiding unit from the front.
The 'Record-breaker' in Pro Kabaddi League is the leading point-scorer in the league's history with 1,160 raid points to his name. Pardeep is the only raider to have crossed 1,000 raid points in PKL, scoring 42.44% of Patna Pirates' raid points in all seasons combined.
His solo efforts have the Patna Pirates to clinch the title in three editions of the league and was also the title-winning captain from season 5 of the PKL.