India firm favourite in inaugural Kabaddi Masters Dubai

While India, Pakistan and Kenya feature in Group ‘A’, Iran, South Korea and Argentina form Group ‘B’.

Indian Kabaddi team led by Ajay Thakur pose for a photo ahead of their participation in 6-nation Kabaddi Masters to be held in Dubai.   -  PTI

India faces arch-rival Pakistan in its opening group clash of the six-nation Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018, at Al Wasl Sports Club, here, on Friday.

While India, Pakistan and Kenya feature in Group ‘A’, Iran, South Korea and Argentina form Group ‘B’. The teams play each other twice, and the top two sides from each group progress to the semifinals.

Indian coach Srinivas Reddy stated that this tournament serves as ideal preparation for the Asian Games, which commences in August.

READ: Thakur backs India to put do or die show in Kabaddi Masters Dubai

On the pressure clash against Pakistan, Indian skipper Ajay Thakur said, “Expectations are always high when India takes on Pakistan.” The two teams will meet for the second time on June 25.

Experienced Indian all-rounder Manjeet Chillar mentioned that it was South Korea that posed the biggest threat in this field. Iran, usually a strong presence, has sent a second-string team for this event. Iran does not want to expose its main players to the competition ahead of the Asian Games, it was learnt.

Srinivas does not agree with Iran’s motives. “It would have been ideal for Iran to send their best team here so that they can find out where they stand against the best in the world. I am very happy that we have picked our best possible squad for this tournament."

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Friday’s schedule (timings in IST, matches telecast live on Star Sports Network):

20:00 – India v Pakistan

21:00 – Iran v South Korea

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