Kabaddi Masters commenced on the 22nd of June at the Al Wasl Sports Club in Dubai. Both the matches on day one of the tournament were thrillers. The first match - between the biggest rivals India and Pakistan - was a one-sided contest as India won 36-20.
Ajay Thakur stole the show along with Rohit Kumar, who replaced Pardeep, and the two raked up 17 points in total for the team. Ajay scored a total of ten points alone and sealed the victory for Team India. Surender Nada was also spot on as always with his defense.
The second match was played between South Korea and Iran. Iran took a healthy lead of seven points in the first half itself, making their victory obvious.
The final score of this match was 35-20. Iran, a team comprising mainly of their youngsters and missing out on the top names, put their best foot forward in both offense and defense, and ended the tie with a flourish in a truly commendable performance.
Prediction - India vs Kenya
The first match on June 23 will be played between the only non-Asian teams - Argentina and Iran. The second and the most highlighted match of the night will be played between India and Kenya.
Team India is a star-studded team with acing raiders like Pardeep Narwal, Ajay Thakur, Rahul Chaudhari and Rohit Kumar. The destructive duo of Surender Nada and Mohit Chillar are excellent defenders and never miss an opportunity for a tackle. The star raider Pardeep Narwal will be keen to make amends for a rather disappointing outing against Pakistan.
Kenya's team is not as experienced as the Indian team but they definitely made a good impression in the Kabaddi World Cup 2016 (KWC). Many players including Patrick Nzau Muvai and David Mosambayi have played in PKL and have proved to be vital for their teams.
India are firm favourites to go on and win their second game, however, the Kenyan team is very much capable of pulling off an upset. It will be interesting to see how this match pans out to be.
Telecast and Streaming Details:
Match: India vs Kenya
Timing: 9:00 PM IST (Indian Standard Time)
Venue: Al Wasl Sports Club, Dubai
Date: 23 June 2018
Television Channel: Star Sports 2, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD
Live Stream: Hotstar, Jio TV
Do you feel the strong Indian team will win as expected, or will there be a twist in the tale and Kenya will pull off a major upset? Do let us know in the comments section below.