The 13th edition of the South Asian Games is all set to kick off on 1st December 2019. Continuing the trend of the previous nine tourneys, the officials have included kabaddi in the multi-sport extravaganza. The SAG 2019 kabaddi tournament will mark its beginning on 4th December 2019 in Kathmandu-Pokhara, Nepal.
India, the defending gold-medalists will look to defend their title having won the gold medal in all the previous tourneys. Kabaddi has been the prime sport of India in the South Asian Games and hoping to bring the gold medal to the nation once again, the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) had announced a 12-man squad on Tuesday (26th November).
Deepak Niwas Hooda will lead the Indian team which goes as follows -
Men’s Team: Deepak Niwas Hooda (C), Pawan Sehrawat (V.C.), Nitesh Kumar, Vishal Bhardwaj, Sunil Kumar, Parvesh Bhainswal, Naveen Kumar, Pardeep Narwal, Amit Hooda, Surender Nada, Vikash Kandola, and Darshan Kadian.
There are some strong and weak points in this squad so, without further ado, let us have a look at the SWOT Analysis of the Indian kabaddi team.
Strengths - Top 3 raiders of Pro Kabaddi 2019
India is having the strongest squad in the tournament but what makes this team more special is the presence of the top three raiders of the Pro Kabaddi League 2019.
Pardeep Narwal and Naveen Kumar will look to cement their spots in the Indian team whereas the vice-captain Pawan Sehrawat will be excited to contribute his bit to the raiding unit and the leadership group.
These three in-form raiders can alone win the tournament for India once they get going and thus, they will be the biggest strength of the Men in Blue.
Weaknesses - Have not played many matches as a team
There is no question over the capability of the players present in the Indian team but, the only issue the team can face at the South Asian Games is the lack of co-ordination. The Indian national kabaddi team has underwent a host of changes for this tournament and the defenders may take time to play as a well-oiled unit.
While the duo of Sunil Kumar and Parvesh Bhainswal have played a lot of kabaddi matches together, the same cannot be said about the corner defenders of the team. Nitesh Kumar had been playing with Sumit at UP Yoddha while Surender Nada had not played a single PKL match this year owing to an injury.
Vishal Bhardwaj and Amit Hooda too have not played together much. Besides, the team will also face the problem of plenty while picking the corner defenders. While Nada is the senior-most defender of the team, the fact that he did not play in the Pro Kabaddi League brings him on a level ground with the other three.
The same problem may persist in the raiding unit as well because Deepak Hooda and Pawan Sehrawat will feature in all the games but then the management will have to pick either of Pardeep Narwal, Naveen Kumar and Vikash Kandola.
Opportunities - Golden chance for the young raiders
Naveen Kumar, Vikas Kandola and Darshan Kadian will look to make their presence felt on the mat as they are coming on the back off some impressive performances. Kandola and Kumar had been the backbones of Haryana Steelers and Dabang Delhi K.C., respectively.
The fans bill these two youngsters as the future of the Indian kabaddi team hence, they will look to make the most out of the opportunity that they have received. Besides, Kadian can cement his spot in the team if he lives up to the expectations in South Asian Games.
Threats - No major threats
The biggest advantage for India in South Asian Games 2019 will be the absence of Iran and South Korea. Both the teams have troubled the Men in Blue in the recent past but the upcoming tourney will only feature Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Only the team from Pakistan can give the Indian team a run for their money but apart from that, the fans can back Deepak Niwas Hooda and co. to bulldoze the minnows.