Kabaddi event of the 13th South Asian Games 2019 is set to commence from 4th December 2019 and will conclude on 9th December 2019. AKFI announced its 12-member Indian men's team for the event, as Deepak Niwas Hooda will be leading the side as the captain.
The management has selected a balanced squad this year with a perfect mix of experienced campaigners and young talents. The top three raiders of Pro Kabaddi 2019 - Pawan Sehrawat, Naveen Kumar, and Pardeep Narwal will be playing together for their national side. Vikash Khandola and Darshan Kadian will also be the opportunistic raiders to watch out in the tournament.
The likes of Nitesh Kumar, Vishal Bhardwaj, and Amit Hooda will take the defensive charge, along with Surender Nada, who will be returning after a long tenure. Sunil Kumar and Parvesh Bhainswal will be serving as the cover defenders for a newly revamped Indian squad.
India will play its first match in the morning session on 5th December against Sri Lanka, followed by Pakistan (6th December), Bangladesh (7th December), and the hosts Nepal (8th December). As we close in towards the commencement of the tournament, let's take a look at the probable playing seven for the Indian Kabaddi team at the South Asian Games.
Corner defenders: Nitesh Kumar (right) & Surender Nada (left)
Nitesh Kumar has emerged into one of the finest right corner defenders in the Kabaddi world today. He has been in sublime form, with his arsenal moves like the ankle hold and diving thigh holds and can be vital in a well-settled defence.
Surender Nada remains an experienced campaigner in India's squad this year. The ankle-hold specialist will return after almost a year in the Kabaddi scene. His leadership in the defence could come handy along with his ability to remain composed and not give advance attempts.
The newly formed corner duo of Nitesh-Surender could work well for the Indian side, as both defenders are flexible in forming a partnership with the other defenders. With the perfect mix of youth and experience, this corner duo can be a long-term defensive unit for India and will play a vital role in India's hope for its 10th gold medal.