2. Manjeet Chhillar - Ace All-rounder
Manjeet Chillar has been elevated to the vice captain of the team after his successful stints as as skipper of the Bengaluru Bulls and the Puneri Paltan in the Pro Kabbadi league. On the mat, he excels in his role as an all-rounder, being extremely potent as a raider and highly effective in defensive positions.
The 8th edition of the IKF Kabaddi world cup shall be underway later on Thursday evening at Ahmedabad, India. Host India shall be taking on a formidable opponent in South Korea in their opening game of Group A.
India has played host to all the seven previous editions of the Kabaddi World Cup. India shall be eager to get on the points table and start their campaign for a 8th World Cup title in a winning fashion. The Indian team has the strongest possible squad among the twelve nations which are competing in the mega event.
Indian squad under the command of ace raider Anup Kumar is a well rounded team with a plethora of star players who are equally adept at both raiding and defence.
Here is a look at the top 5 players in the Indian team who could play a pivotal role in their bid to lift the coveted title once again.
1. Anup Kumar - Captain Cool
The skipper is arguably one of the best players India has ever produced. His calm and composed demeanor have drawn comparisons with former Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
He proved his skills as a leader by captaining the U Mumba team to the Pro Kabaddi title in the second edition of the league. As a player, Anup proved his mantle as a ace raider by bagging the MVP in the first PKL season.
At the international level, his two gold medals at the Asian Games will hold India in good stead under his command.
3. Rahul Chaudhari - Young Turk
Rahul shall be the impact player for India in the tournament courtesy his brilliant raiding ability which helps his team to secure a plethora of points. He comes into the tournament at the back of a brilliant PKL season, scoring a stupendous 146 points through raids. His remarkable performances have made him the poster boy of Indian Kabaddi.
4. Sandeep Narwal - Man of Steel
Sandeep Narwal is the rock in the Indian defence courtesy his strong full body tackles which have seen him earning 161 tackle points for his teams in the PKL. He is equally adept at the attacking dimension of the game and hence seen as a defensive raider.
His 171 raid points in just 62 games is testimony to the fact. He played an instrumental role in securing the PKL title for Patna in the third season and was rewarded with the Best Defender award.
5. Deepak Hooda - Man with the golden running hand touch
Deepak Hooda has established himself as a force to reckon with, courtesy his brilliant seasons for Telugu Titans and Puneri Paltan in Pro Kabaddi League. He has the unique quality of bailing a team out of trouble whether it is with his swift raiding or defensive role.
The 22-year old donned the Indian Colours at the Asian South Games where the team won the gold medal. His amazing numbers (391 points from 57 matches) back up his stupendous performances so far.