Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018, India vs Iran, 5 Talking Points
The week-long Kabaddi extravaganza came to a conclusion today as World Cup and Asian champions India faced off against Iran at the Al Wasl Sports Complex in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The two sides put on incredibly dominant performances on the mat throughout the group stages as they won all their matches with comfortable margins over their opponents. India brushed aside challenges from Pakistan and Kenya whereas Iran overcame South Korea and Argentina to make their way to the semi-finals.
In the semifinals, Iran took on Pakistan and won 41-20 in a strong all-around showing that left the Pakistani side flustered on the mat. India were up against the spirited South Koreans and were made to work for the win as Ajay Thakur led the side from the front notching up a 36-20 win sealing their spot in the summit clash.
Iran have been impressive in the tournament with a good 360 degree approach to the mat as they have a good host of all-rounders in the side despite not bringing their full strength squad to the tournament leaving out stars like Fazel Atrachali, Abozar Mighani, Meraj Sheykh and Abolfazl Maghsoudlou. However, players like Mohammad Nabibaksh, Mohammad Maghsoudlou and Mohammad Maleki have put on a strong statement with their performances and posed a threat to the Indians.
India came to the Emirates with a host of Pro Kabaddi League stars and have been consistent in their performances so far on the mat. Players like Pardeep Narwal and Rahul Chaudhari haven't played as per the expectations but India have extremely talented backups with Monu Goyat and Rishank Devadiga stepping up their game.
India emerged victorious against a strong challenge from the Iranian team to end up winning 44-26 to clinch the title of the inaugural Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018. India' Ajay Thakur and Surjeet Singh were the top scoring raiders and defenders, respectively as India put on a strong all-around performance on the mat.
#1 India start strong and take early control in the match
India have always started cautiously in this Kabaddi Masters Dubai tournament and Iran were hoping to put pressure from the starting whistle. However, they were in for a surprise as India began with a bang in the match going full throttle.
Indian raiders Ajay Thakur, Monu Goyat and Rishank Devadiga kept the Iranians on their toes right from the get-go as they struggled to cope. Iran's raiders Nabibaksh and Nosrati were easily tackled by the Indian defenders and the World champions ran away to a strong lead within the first ten minutes taking control of the match and scoring the first all-out of the match.