Five occasions when India lost in Kabaddi

India’s dominance in Kabaddi is well known. India has won all the World Cups to date. No matter how big the competition is, the victory of the Indian team is almost certain. That is why India is called the superpower of Kabaddi. But even this superpower has to taste defeat at times. In this article, we will review five such defeats India has faced so far.

1. India v Pakistan (1993 South Asian Championship, Dhaka) 

India had to taste defeat for the first time in Kabaddi from its traditional rival Pakistan. Pakistan had beaten India in the final of the 1993 South Asian Games in Bangladesh. In the nineties, India and Pakistan were considered to be big teams of kabaddi. The Indian team at that time had players like Tirthraj, Ashan Kumar and Kashinath Bhaskaran. Apart from this one defeat in the South Asian Championships, India has never lost in this tournament again. India is the most successful team in the history of South Asian Games. India has won the gold medal nine times.

2. India v South Korea (2016 Kabaddi World Cup, Ahmedabad) 

The Indian team, which always plays as a potential winner in every World Cup, had to lose in the 2016 World Cup to a relatively weak team like South Korea. In the very first match of this World Cup, Korea had started its World Cup campaign by beating India. India had a five-point lead of 18-13 at halftime. However, in the second session, Korea hit hard. Korea beat India 34-32 on the strength of Jang Kun Lee’s strong raids. The defeat was a warning to India. The Indian team also learned a lesson from this defeat and went on to win all the remaining matches of the World Cup including the final.
3. India v South Korea (2018, Asian Games, Jakarta) 
The South Korean team, which defeated India in the World Cup two years ago, again defeated India in the 2018 Asian Games. This was India’s first defeat in the Asian Games. Leading Indian players Ajay Thakur and Pardeep Narwal were tied by the Korean defense. Both Korean raiders Jang Kun Lee and Dong Geon Lee cracked the Indian defense. Korea won the match 24-23. The loss to Korea forced India to settle for second place in the group. As a result, India had to face Iran in the semi-finals. India lost that match as well.
4. India vs Iran (2018, Asian Games, Jakarta) 
This match can be described as India’s most embarrassing defeat in the Asian Games. India lost to South Korea in the preliminary round and had to face Iran in the semi-finals. Iran defeated India, forcing India to settle for a bronze medal. Iran, led by Fazal Atrachali, held their morale high from the start of the match. Both India’s defense and offense faded compared to Iran’s. In the end, Iran defeated India 27-18. Going forward, Iran defeated South Korea in the final to win the gold medal. After this defeat, the Indian team was heavily criticized across the country.

5. India 7 vs World 7 (Pro Kabaddi All-Star Match) 

An exhibition match of India 7 vs World 7 was played before the start of the seventh season of the Pro Kabaddi League. Despite being an exhibition match, the players on both sides played well in this match. At the end of the first half, India had a 20-14 lead. Pawan Sehrawat from India played an important role and scored a Super 10. From the World 7 team, Jang Kun Lee and Mohammad Nabibaksh put on a strong performance to beat India 7 33-32. Pawan made the final raid from India but got tackled allowing World 7 to win the game.