Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018: Pakistan left short of two key raiders against India due to visa issues
India may have bagged their opening match of the Kabaddi Masters tournament against Pakistan at the Al Wasl Sports Complex in Dubai by a 36-20 margin, but the Men in Blue had a start advantage over their arch-rivals on Friday.
Head coach Srinivas Reddy had stated after the match that India's raiders were far better than that of Pakistan, which eventually made the difference, especially in the second half.
After the match, however, Pakistan coach Nabeel Ahmed revealed that his side landed in Dubai on the morning of the match, and needed some time to get used to the surroundings.
"There’s nothing too alarming about the defeat that we suffered here. It’s all part and parcel of the game," Nabeel said after the match. "Our lads reached Dubai on the morning of the match, and this was the first time that we were playing in this arena. So the guys have to adjust a bit to the environment.
"We were scheduled to reach one day before the match. But there were some visa issues, so we reached on the morning of the game at around 7 am," he said.
To add to these problems, two of Pakistan's raiders, Sajjad Shaukat and Muzammal Hussain have not yet made the trip to the Middle-East, as they are yet to get visas to enter UAE.
"Two of our players are yet to arrive in Dubai, as they are facing visa issues. Obviously, due to their absence, our squad is not up to its full strength as of yet," said Nabeel.
Despite these visa troubles, however, Nabeel went on to concede that India were tactically better on the night, and did well to change things up when the Pakistan defenders managed to keep star raider Pardeep Narwal in check.
"It's not like we lost just because of these visa issues. India played really well," he said. "When we stopped Pardeep, they quickly changed their tactic and started raiding from the other side. So they strategized well and came out on top in this match."
While the Pakistan team arrived late in Dubai, they will have one day's rest before they face off against Kenya, on Sunday. A win against the African nation would be crucial for Pakistan, in order to take a step closer to securing themselves a spot in the semifinals.
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