Indian team was over-dependent on Ajay Thakur: Ashok Shinde

Former Indian raider Ashok Shinde who led India to win its first Gold medal in Asian Games 1990 was shocked by India’s performance in Asian Games 2018 saying its unbelievable and unthinkable.

He said that I am still not believing that India has lost both its Gold medals in Kabaddi which were used to be guaranteed. When Kabaddi was included for the first time at Asian Games 1990 I scored the first point. So it is difficult to forget this loss.

He explains the reasons why Indian team failed to defend its Gold medal. “Selection of the team is one of the main reasons behind this. We were playing 7 raiders and completely ignored our defense. The coach had no strategy while selecting the final team. They were confused about how to use all-rounder Deepak Hooda. And the same was about with other players”.

Ashok Shinde added that the team was over-dependent on its skipper Ajay Thakur. Before playing Asian Games the team was dependent only on Ajay Thakur be it World Cup, Asian Kabaddi Championships or recently held Kabaddi Masters Dubai. This time also we did not look upon other players.

“Ajay Thakur’s injury may have had some kind of an effect. He seemed to be on his own though, he received little support from teammates in both raiding and cover”.

The coach simply lacked creating confidence in our players. Their body language was not like they are playing in an international tournament. It was simply like they are playing Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) or any other domestic tournament.

“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”, Shinde said.

Indian players failed to study their opponents. On the other hand opponents were well aware of positives and negatives of the Indian Side. Time and again they targeted our weakness, the defense which made impact in the scoreline.

There was a sense of overconfidence in the Indian team which shouldn’t have been the case since we had just lost to Korea. We should have played more matches/friendlies against teams like Iran and Korea. “Because of PKL, Stats, Videos, and Data of all our players are readily and exhaustively available, but we know very little of players from teams like Korea or Iran, apart from the ones who play in PKL” Ashok Shinde said.

We saw a dream of Kabaddi making it to a global level. That dream is coming true, but at the sake of our team’s loss. It is difficult for everyone to digest this humiliating loss. “This loss and its reasons should be analyzed. We should give time to come out of this shock. Especially to the players as they will have to face the anger. It’s true, we did mistakes. But now we no only to find the way for it but have to start it rather than blaming on each other”, said Shinde.