Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018, India vs Kenya: Predicted team and probable starting line-up
India took on arch-rivals Pakistan on the mat on Day 4 of the Kabaddi Masters Dubai. The Ajay Thakur-led team won the one-sided match with the scoreline 41-17 and became the second team to qualify for the semi-finals after Iran. India's captain Ajay Thakur, Monu Goyat, along with Rohit Kumar did a commendable job in the last match.
The men in blue will now lock horns with newbies Kenya in the second match of Day 5 (the first one being the Group B encounter of Iran vs Argentina). Last Saturday, on June 23, the Kenyans were defeated by team India with the scoreline 48-19.
It came as a surprise to many that the one-man army Manjeet Chillar did not play a single match of the Kabaddi Masters. PKL's talismanic raider Pardeep Narwal and poster boy Rahul Chaudhari were also seen sitting on the team bench for the most part.
They have not gotten an opportunity to play after the first match. Strangely enough, Deepak Hooda was present on the mat but he did not contribute a single point for the team in the match against Pakistan.
Team Kenya have lost both their matches against India and Pakistan. Defeating India in the approaching match is going to be a hard task for the Kenyans - although it is vital for them to have a chance to make it to the playoffs. Led by the destructive raider David Mosambayi, they will have to work hard for the approaching match.
India's predicted lineup
Ajay Thakur (C) (Raider)
Ajay Thakur is the backbone of team India. He has stood up to everyone's expectations and done an incredibly good job being captain. The super raider has contributed to the team as a defender as well and that makes him all the more special as a player. A hero of the Kabaddi World Cup 2016, he is likely to achieve the same feat here.
Monu Goyat (Raider)
Any praises for Monu Goyat will seem less. The 25-year-old is a proficient player who has led team India to glory on multiple occasions and performed when needed. The services' raider has shown some exceptional tactics in the match and grabbed the headlines for his exploits in the ongoing tournament.
Rishank Devadiga (Raider)
One of the costliest players in the Pro Kabaddi League auctions, Rishank Devadiga is an outstanding player. The audience was gobsmacked by his swift game and he is undoubtedly one of the finest raiders Kabaddi has ever produced.
Manjeet Chhillar (All-rounder)
Manjeet Chillar is one of the best all-rounders in Kabaddi and is a perfect example of experience and skills. It was surprising to see that the 31-year-old has not played a single match in the ongoing tournament in spite of being the best defender in the Kabaddi World Cup. However, he is likely to replace Deepak Hooda in the upcoming match against Kenya to finally get some game time.
Surjeet Singh (Defender)
Surjeet Singh and strong tackles go hand in hand. He is one of the most vicious defenders in Kabaddi who possesses colossal defensive skills. One of the prime picks in the starting seven to play in the approaching match.
Surender Nada (Defender)
Surender Nada, the best defender of the fifth edition of PKL is expected to play as a part of the starting seven yet again. The Haryana-born player is the best defender in the league and has displayed some unbelievable ankle holds in the last matches.
Sandeep Narwal (Defender)
Sandeep Narwal, the most proactive player in Kabaddi, makes it to the probable list for the starting seven. This passionate player has done wonders for the team - be it the most powerful block or a crucial raid - he has done it all. Sandeep has shown enthralling performances in previous matches and is expected to do the same again.