Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018: 'Lesser gametime for Manjeet Chhillar is a result of testing young blood for Asian Games,' says India coach Srinivas Reddy
India have been on a roll at the Kabaddi Masters tournament in Dubai, winning all three of their matches so far, to secure the top spot in Group A. However, the burning question with regards to the team selection is about the role of veteran Manjeet Chhillar in the side.
Manjeet, who picked up by the Tamil Thalaivas at the Pro Kabaddi League auctions last month for a paltry sum of Rs 20 lacs, is the senior-most member of the Indian squad for the Kabaddi Masters, which is being played at the Al Wasl Sports Club.
After the Men in Blues' emphatic 41-17 victory over arch-rivals Pakistan in their third match, India coach Srinivas Reddy opened up on why Manjeet has not played a single minute at the Kabaddi Masters, despite being a member of the 14-man squad.
"I have watched Manjeet Chhillar grow over the years and perform at the national level. My focus now lies on training and giving confidence to the next-in-line players, ones who will follow Manjeet's footsteps," explained Reddy, "As long as there is no competition in the team for a particular spot in the team, there is no fun and learning."
"Manjeet is undoubtedly a world-class all-rounder but I am looking to give the youngsters a chance to shine and give them the required confidence to form a formidable side ahead of the Asian Games and that is the only reason why you have not seen Manjeet featuring in any of the games played so far," Reddy added to which skipper Ajay Thakur signed off by saying that the main area of focus is building a platform for the future owing to which some big players have missed out on a lot of game time.
Interestingly, one of the new entrants to the Indian team, Girish Maruti Ernak, put in a brilliant performance on the night, as he completed 100 percent of his tackles, to earn a high-five.