Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018: India name Ajay Thakur as their captain
What's the story?
Tamil Thalaivas star raider Ajay Thakur has been appointed as the captain of the Indian kabaddi side that is set to fly to Dubai to participate in the Kabaddi Masters tournament, later this month.
In case you didn't know...
The Kabaddi Masters tournament is set to take place in Dubai, with international heavyweights like India, Pakistan, Iran, Kenya, Argentina and South Korea set to take part in a week-long event that will commence on June 22 and culminate on June 30.
The heart of the matter
India will once again go into the tournament as one of the favourites to lift the trophy, after being crowned champions at the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup and at the Asian Kabaddi Championship last year.
Incidentally, India's star all-rounder Anup Kumar was not named in the Indian camp ahead of the Asian Games, which is currently being held in Sonepat.
While Anup has been the longstanding captain of the Indian national side, his omission from the camp has prompted the authorities to name Ajay Thakur as the new captain.
Girish Maruti Ernak, Surender Nada, Sandeep Dhull, Mohit Chhillar, Raju Lal Choudhary, Surjeet Singh, Deepak Niwas Hooda, Pardeep Narwal, Rahul Chaudhari, Rishank Devadiga, Monu Goyat, Ajay Thakur, Rohit Kumar, Manjeet Chhillar.
Standby: Maninder Singh, Sachin Tanwar.
India have been one of the most successful countries in Kabaddi so far, and will go into the Kabaddi Masters as the clear favourites to win the tournament, alongside 2016 finalists Iran.
Thakur has already captained the Tamil Thalaivas in the Pro Kabaddi League previously, and it will be interesting to see how he copes up with the pressure of leading the national side. Whatever be the case, he will still have experienced heads like Manjeet, Deepak and Rohit to guide him in his new role.
Can Ajay Thakur be a long-term replacement for Anup Kumar as the national team captain? Let us know what you think in the comments section.