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Asian Games: Why India Lost To Iran In Kabaddi

India’s men’s kabaddi team has lost only two matches in its Asian Games history. Before the shock loss to Iran on Thursday, the invincibles were beaten by Korea earlier in the week. Here are a few possible reasons behind India’s shock loss.

Suprita Das | News18 Sports

Updated:August 23, 2018, 10:18 PM IST
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Asian Games: Why India Lost To Iran In Kabaddi
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India’s men’s kabaddi team has lost only two matches in its Asian Games history. Before the shock loss to Iran on Thursday, the invincibles were beaten by Korea earlier in the week. Here are a few possible reasons behind India’s shock loss:

THE TURNING POINT

Star raiders Ajay Thakur and Monu Goyat, slower than usual in the first half, were just about finding their feet in the second when a superb tackle from Iran who were trailing 11-9 at that time left Indian captain Thakur with a cut above his eye. He needed medical attention immediately. Iran made the most of the moment and got the lead back to 12-11 in their favour and from there, there was no looking back

COACH–CAPTAIN DISCONNECT

Ram Mehar Singh, coach of the successful Patna Pirates franchise in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), was added to the Indian team’s coaching staff just a couple of days before the Asian Games. Those present at the game say there wasn’t enough communication between Singh and captain Thakur. Thakur reportedly didn’t send in the raiders that the coach instructed him to.

OFF-FIELD TACKLES

Even before the upset against Korea, the sport was affected by off-field rumblings. Former India internationals had filed a writ petition before the Delhi High Court a month back alleging the Kabaddi Federation for not holding fair selection trials. One of India’s best defenders, Surjeet Singh, who captains the Bengal warriors frnachise in the PKL wasn’t picked in the squad


HOW IRAN TRAINED TO BEAT INDIA

The 2014 Asian Games loss to India hurt the Iranians bad, and they wanted to win the gold this time desperately. The Pro Kabaddi League came to their rescue by means of allowing several players to stay and play with Indians closely. There’s no doubt it helped them understand and know India’s players better. In a master move, at the recently played Dubai Masters, Iran’s best players chose not to participate, thus preventing the Indians from checking out their competition right before the Asian Games.

Both Korea and Iran have strong players in the PKL. And what India underestimated was how both countries had caught up with them. What could add to India's woes in the future is that one of Iranian coaches in fact, is going to supervise the U-Mumba side.
| Edited by: Pratik Sagar
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