Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: U Mumba coach heaps praise on Iranian defenders in PKL
Since the inception of the Pro Kabaddi League, we've seen numerous Indians shine on the mat. But the same cannot be said for the foreign recruits. Among the multiple internationals who have plied their trade in the league, only a handful have managed to make their mark.
U Mumba coach, Bhaskaran Edachery believes that apart from two Iranian defenders viz Gujarat's two corner defenders - Fazel Atracheli and Abozar Mighani, no other Iranian has really managed to outperform their Indian counterparts in season 5.
"The Iranian players have been giving some outstanding performances. The two corners at Gujarat Fortunegiants (Fazel and Abozar), they have been playing together at the Kabaddi World Cup and also the Asian Games. That's why they have such great coordination and we're getting to see it now," he explained
Bhaskaran believes apart from them, only Meraj has lived up to the expectations of the fans while the others haven't been able to display consistency - a trait that's extremely crucial when games come in thick and fast.
"But apart from them, the Iranians in the other teams - for example, Meraj Sheykh as a raider he is bound to perform since raiding is an individual skill. But as defenders, I haven't seen many Iranian defenders perform well," he stated.
When asked to compare them with India's star players, he admitted that it's not a fair comparison at this point of time. However, while he does reckon that the Iranians are still some way off the mark, he is in awe of their energy levels on the mat.
"One thing is for sure, the Iranians give it their all, full energy. They give it their all on the mat that's why they play well. It's not right to say that the Iranian team is not good as India. They have a different type of energy," he said.
U Mumba have a certain Iranian, defender, Hadi Oshtorak in their ranks. Out of the six matches that Mumbai have played so far, he's featured in only one, during which he was substituted midway. The coach revealed that Hadi was suffering from some minor injuries but from now on he will give the Iranian more game time.
"Yes, definitely. Actually, Hadi was injured for some time, now he is fully fit and we can give him some more time on the mat. I know he will play well," he signed off.