Kabaddi's offensive skillset features few manoeuvres capable of altering a play in the manner a Dubki can. One of the ultimate game-changing skills in the sport, the Dubki requires incredible flexibility, agility and presence of mind as raiders duck low to the ground in order to evade a chain of defenders before launching himself back to safety and crossing the midline.
A move engineered to leave a swarm of defenders in a raider's wake, the Dubki has been an effective riddle for opposition defences to solve but a difficult one for raiders to execute.
A thought-out move
"This move requires everything, even brains," proclaims 'Record Breaker' Pardeep Narwal, who has been performing the move since he was a young boy in his village.
"When the defender gets extremely close, then there's an opportunity for the Dubki," asserts the Patna Pirates captain, once hailed as the 'Dubki King'. "You have to be wary of the defenders who are sitting low to get through them, and that there isn't a chain (tackle) that backs it up."
While distance from defenders and awareness as Narwal, once hailed as the Dubki King, touches on play key roles in executing the move, a lot it boils down to instinct. Reading the situation is also pivotal but a lot of what goes into a successful Dubki 'comes automatically' according to Dabang Delhi K.C.'s Naveen Kumar – vivo Pro Kabaddi's latest poster boy.
"We see which defender is standing loose so we can take points from him and then judge what the defender would like to do," Kumar points out. "But deciding when to do a Dubki comes automatically to us.
"If the defender is in front of us, then we'll have to duck. If he is covered with many defenders but there is a chance of escaping through a gap, then the raider does a Dubki," he explains the nitty-gritties of a textbook Dubki. "If the raider sees a gap anywhere, he will move from there."
Not for a single defender
While a well-executed Dubki maybe a source of immense satisfaction for raiders and a feast for the eyes of fans; defenders it would be safe to say experience rather contrasting emotions, if it were to be put mildly.
"Dubki is a very effective skill to possess as a player and requires one to perform it with immense speed," observes Jaipur Pink Panthers' defender Sandeep Dhull, one of the leading tackle points scorers this season. "When a raider executes it swiftly, it is quite stressful for a defender to catch him in the act. It is even harder to catch hold of the raider without the support of a teammate.
"Hence, the only way one can prepare for this in training is to have defensive coordination. A single man cannot defend against a raider performing the Dubki,” Dhull insists.