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Pro Kabaddi 2018: Dabang Delhi Aim to Shed Underachievers Tag in Season Six

Despite being the capital city of India, New Delhi has never had much luck when it comes to tasting glory in any of the many franchise-based leagues that operate in the nation today.

News18 Sports

Updated:October 5, 2018, 8:31 PM IST
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Pro Kabaddi 2018: Dabang Delhi Aim to Shed Underachievers Tag in Season Six
Dabang Delhi. (Twitter)
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Despite being the capital city of India, New Delhi has never had much luck when it comes to tasting glory in any of the many franchise-based leagues that operate in the nation today.

The Delhi Daredevils remain without an Indian Premier League (IPL) title while the Delhi Dynamos, the city’s Indian Super League (ISL) side, have never made the finals of the tournament and finished bottom of the group table last season.

While kabaddi is a sport which requires different skill-sets than either cricket or football, Dabang Delhi shares the same luckless fortune that is generally associated with any sporting team out of the city.

That being said, there is no time like the present for the side to overturn their fortunes and with experienced coach Krishan Kumar Hooda at the helm of things, the side stand every chance of breaking their play-off jinx.

A quick look at the squad they have assembled shows a side that is best suited to attacking. In Yogesh Hooda, Chandran Ranjit, Pawan Kumar Kadiyan and Thailand captain Khomsan Thongkham they have four young raiders who will all have a part to play at some point in the campaign.

There’s also Shabeer Bapu and former Iran skipper Meraj Sheykh, two players who will look to prove their mettle after form in recent years has seen their respective stocks drop.

Bapu was part of U Mumba last season yet didn’t make much of an impact for the side, although it is worth noting that injuries meant he wasn’t always able to give as much as he would have liked.

All-rounder Sheykh, who was Delhi’s captain till last year, was not included in the Iran side that went on to win gold in the 2018 Asian Games and will be keen to prove that he is not yet finished at the highest level of the game.

However, a title winning team needs a solid defence as well; an average defence is why India couldn’t win gold in the Asian Games this time around.

Ravinder Pahal will likely be the main man in Delhi’s defence. ‘The Hawk’, as he is popularly known, secured a solid 52 tackles at a strike rate of 50 last season and will be keen to do better this year.

Vishal Mane is another player who will play a key role in the back but will have to improve on his form of last season which saw his tackle strike rate drop drastically.

While their attack is definitely their strength, Delhi’s defence could also be a formidable one if key players strike form early. Whether this leads to an elusive first title remains to be seen.
| Edited by: Madhav Agarwal
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