Kabaddi World Cup | At midway, India are back from early shock, while Kenya prove surprise package

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Kabaddi World Cup | At midway, India are back from early shock, while Kenya prove surprise package

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SportsCafe Desk

10/13/2016

Although India started as the favourites in the third edition of the Kabaddi World Cup which made a return after a gap of nine years, the hosts stumbled at the first hurdle by losing to less fancied South Korea in the tournament opener on 7th of October.

Group A

The two-time world champions couldn’t build on their lead given by Anup Kumar and Rahul Chaudhari in the first game against South Korea. A tremendous fightback from the Korean team, led by the brilliant Jang Kun Lee, saw them win the opening game of the Kabaddi World Cup 34-32.

India needed to erase the disappointment of the opening game to make a comeback, and they did that in grand style. India thumped the Aussies by a humongous margin of 54-20 to make a statement of their superiority in the game. Ajay Thakur and Manjeet Chhillar starred in the game for India.

India won their second game in a row with a comprehensive win against Bangladesh by a score of 57-20. Ajay Thakur (11) and Pradeep Narwal (8) were the stars of the game for the Indians with the latter earning touch points in 5 consecutive raids.

Placed in Pool A alongside, South Korea, England, Australia, Argentina and Bangladesh, India were the overwhelming favourites and now currently stand at the top with 11 points - just a solitary point more than second-placed Korea who have played one game less than India.

Korea have defeated India and Argentina in their first two league games. After their solid show against the hosts, the Korean side also managed to thump Argentina 68-42  to strengthen their position in the pool. With three matches yet to be played in the tournament, they can easily end as the topper of the pool unless any miracle happens.

With one win and one loss each, England and Bangladesh sit at number three and four respectively. Both have five points in their kitty, while the raid points have made the difference in their positions.

Australia managed a victory over Argentina, but the losses they suffered to India and England have made their chances to proceed to the next round almost impossible. With five points from a single victory, the Kangaroos sit at the penultimate position from the lower side.

Argentina’s campaign didn’t get to the best of starts as they lost to Korea and Australia. They are going to face fancied sides like India, Bangladesh and England, and a win seems highly unlikely. With such a position, the African football-frenzy country may end up at the bottom.

Group B

Like Group A, Group B has gone on a scripted tale without an upset. Only Kenya has posed a threat to two time runners-up Iran by coming close to them before Iran won the game by a margin of 33-28. With three victories from three matches, Iran sits at the top. Japan and Kenya sit at the next two positions with a victory and a defeat. Both the teams have 6 points to their name. The United States and Polland are yet to win a game in the tournament.

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