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Iceman raider Ajay Thakur picks his Kabaddi dream team

Ajay Thakur Kabaddi Dream team
(Image Source: Twitter) Ajay Thakur

Pro Kabaddi League’s interaction show ‘Beyond The Mat’ second season kicked off on Sunday. Former Indian Kabaddi national team captain Ajay Thakur was featured in very first episode of the show where he picked his dream team. The show airs on Pro Kabaddi’s official Instagram and YouTube handle featuring kabaddi stars and brings forward their off the mat stories.

Ajay Thakur had been awarded with prestigious Padma Shri and Arjuna Award for his contribution in kabaddi. Iceman played pivotal role in India’s 2016 World Cup winning triumph. This performance in Indian colours gave Ajay responsibility of captaincy after Anup’s retirement. Ajay won 2018 Dubai Kabaddi Masters as captain of India but surprisingly team omitted him from 2019 South Asian Games campaign. There’s big question mark on Ajay’s future in Indian colours since then.

Ajay Thakur shared his kabaddi dream team during the interaction in Beyond the Mat show. Surprisingly Ajay decided to omit himself from his dream team. Ajay explained that there are such a big names in that dream team that he himself may not be worthy to get included in that list.

Also Read: 5 deadliest corner defenders pairs of PKL

Defenders

Thakur picked well known faces and his former teammates Dharmaraj Cheralathan and Joginder Narwal on corners. Ajay Thakur played with veterans Dharmaraj Cheralathan and Joginder Narwal for Bengaluru Bulls in PKL season two. Bengaluru had great season and Bulls’ main raider Ajay Thakur became ardent fan of these corner defenders during that time. Ajay and Joginder also spent PKL season four together with Puneri Paltan.

Many kabaddi fans were surprised when Ajay picked Pankaj Shirsat on right cover position. Maharashtra-based former Indian team captain and Arjuna Awardee Pankaj Shirsat is role model for many Kabaddi players. Pankaj inspired whole generation to pursue career in kabaddi during his time. India had won 2007 Kabaddi World Cup under his leadership and currently he’s serving as DYSP for Mumbai Police.

There was no surprise about whom Ajay would pick at left cover, Manjeet Chhillar yes he is! Manjeet Chhillar had a big influence on Ajay’s career. Ajay emerged as top raider in PKL under the captaincy of Manjeet Chhillar in Bengaluru Bulls. Both of these were inches away from PKL title when U Mumba defeated Bengaluru Bulls in season two. Then the duo departed to Puneri Paltan where they played two semifinals in two seasons. Ajay finally got reunited with greatest PKL cover defender at Tamil Thalaivas after one year gap.

Raiders

Ajay Thakur selected former Indian skipper and Arjuna Awardee Dinesh Kumar Bharadwaj as main raider. Dinesh Kumar is inspiration for upcoming generation and Ajay is among his fans. Dinesh also played one season in Pro Kabaddi League where he captained Bengal Warriors in season two. Indian national kabaddi team won Asiad gold medal under the fierce captaincy of Dinesh Kumar.

Inclusion of former Indian captains Anup Kumar and Rakesh Kumar as raiders doesn’t really surprises anyone. Both of these raiders are legends of the game. They made our country proud in this game for so many years. Thakur always looked upon them as sources of kabaddi knowledge and an elder brother. Ajay won 2016 Ahmedabad Kabaddi World Cup under the captaincy of legendary Anup Kumar.

Ajay Thakur’s dream team line-up:

Anup Kumar- Raider

Dinesh Kumar Bharadwaj-Raider

Rakesh Kumar-All rounder

Pankaj Shirsat-Right cover

Manjeet Chhillar-Left cover

Dharmaraj Cheralathan-Right corner

Joginder Narwal-Left corner

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