Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018: India captain Ajay Thakur, coach Srinivas Reddy impressed by Kenya's performance
India were expected to come up with a supreme performance against Kenya in their second match of the Kabaddi Masters tournament at the Al Wasl Sports Club in Dubai, and that is exactly what they did, as they earned a massive 48-19 victory against the African side.
However, it was the fight that the African side put up against India in the match, that impressed the World Champions, who accepted the fact that Kenya have improved leaps and bounds since they last played in the World Cup.
"Definitely, they are growing fast. You know the agility of the players. They are extremely fast. Their physical fitness is fantastic. The only thing they need is technique," said India coach Srinivas Reddy after the match.
"This is a contact sport. So if your fitness is good, it will definitely give a boost to the raiders. Once they get that, they will be the best contenders for the competitions," he said.
India captain Ajay Thakur was also impressed by Kenya's performance, as the African side was able to catch the top Indian raiders time and again.
"Kenya have developed quite a lot since the World Cup. Two years back, their defence was not that good. But now if you look at them, they are being able to catch some of our top raiders like Monu Goyat, Sandeep Narwal, Rishank Devadiga, or Deepak Hooda," said Thakur.
"These are some of the best raiders in our country. If their defenders can catch these guys on a regular basis, that means that their performance has definitely improved. Even their raiders are difficult to catch," he further said.
Despite the improved performance, the gulf in the technical ability between the two sides was clearly visible, as India ran away with a massive 19-point victory. However, such improvement over just two years augurs well for the game of kabaddi, as the minnows seem to be closing down the gaps on the giants.