Former Kabaddi players react on India’s humiliating loss at Asian Games 2018

For the first time ever in 28 years of Asian Games, Indian men’s Kabaddi team failed to win the much anticipated Gold Medal. Iran defeated India in the semifinals shocking the entire Kabaddi World.

As fans are pouring their reactions on social media many former players like Bhaskaran Edachery, Ashok Shinde, Kasinatha Baskaran, L Srinivas Reddy, Anup Kumar, Rakesh Kumar, Jaya Shetty have also voiced their opinions on this historic defeat by Iran in Asian Games 2018.

2014 Asian Games Gold medalist Anup Kumar was surprised and said “I am too stunned to react at the moment. It will take some time to accept that this has exactly happened. But let me tell you there will be far-reaching impact of this result and repercussions will be huge.”

Former Captain Rakesh Kumar said there was lack of team spirit and combination in this Indian team. “I never thought I would have to see this day. It is beyond my imagination that the Indian kabaddi team is returning from the Asian Games without a gold medal. Today’s defeat against Iran hurts me a lot. Our boys played under a lot of pressure. There was something missing. They did not play as a team”.

Pointing out Iran team’s improvement since World Cup 2004, Former CEO of International Kabaddi Federation and Shiv Chhatrapati awardee Jaya Shetty said,”It was the first time Iran was playing in a World Cup and they reached the final. We defeated them 55-27, but from their game, it was pretty evident that they would progress. Today, after 14 years, Iran has shown how fast they learned from their mistakes. They won mainly because of their strong defense. On the other hand, India suffered because of selection issues.”

Deepak Hooda who is a raiding all-rounder plays a right cover sometimes. But is not a specialist right-cover defender. Deepak was playing right cover in the match against Iran. While reacting on this Bhaskaran Edachery, former Indian Kabaddi team coach said, “If you play a defender in place of Messi, and expect him to score the same number of goals, you will never get that result. Deepak is a very good all-rounder but maybe he wasn’t used correctly. A more seasoned cover defender should have been playing there especially in matches against Iran and Korea”.

Former Indian team raider Ashok Shinde, who led India to its first Asian Games Kabaddi Gold in 1990 reacted on this. “It’s a very sad day for Indian Kabaddi. I had tears in my eyes when we lost. The team displayed no control, coordination or strategy. It looked like the players just turned up and felt they would coast into the final. The team simply lacked the killer instinct today,” he said.

1994 Asian Games Gold Medallist, Kasinatha Baskaran told, “We have to correct our training methods. We have been dominating the sport for so many years and have some of the best and most talented players. All we need to is to improve our training methodology. We need to use video technology better and analyze opponents better”.

Indian Kabaddi Team management will have to analyze what went wrong with them, heal their mistakes and come back stronger in the upcoming tournaments. Otherwise, Kabaddi would also be on the declining graph like that of the Indian Hockey team whose performance worsened after the 1980 Olympics Gold Medal win.