‘Iceman’ Ajay Thakur’s ability to stay calm and composed under pressure was perhaps best highlighted in the Delhi leg of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5. His two-point winners at the stroke of the buzzer in consecutive matches that year remain some of the most exhilarating finishes in VIVO Pro Kabaddi history. Blessed with an unflappable temperament, the Himachal-native scored 213 raid points in his first year with Tamil Thalaivas in Season 5 and followed it up with 203 raid points last season. By doing so, he became one of only two players alongside ‘Record-Breaker’ Pardeep Narwal, to score over 200 raid points in successive seasons.
A part of the league since its inception, Thakur is third in the all-time raid points chart (732) and has been one of the most consistent performers every season. As far as Do-or-Die raids are concerned, no one has more points than Thakur’s 155 in such situations. Often the man for a crisis, his ability to make the right decisions under pressure was first seen with Bengaluru Bulls, who he scored 122 raid points for in the inaugural season - the fourth highest tally in the league that year.
After another campaign that saw him finish as runners-up with Bengaluru Bulls, Thakur moved to Puneri Paltan for the next two seasons and formed a potent raiding duo with Deepak Niwas Hooda. The two led the franchise to the semi-finals in successive campaigns.
His move to Tamil Thalaivas and the responsibility of captaining the side brought his sound temperament to the fore unlike ever before. His role of a leader with the team seemed to bring the best out of him as he proved by keeping his cool and producing sensational raids to help his team pull off thrilling wins. Thakur’s calm demeanour, the addition of Rahul Chaudhari to the team, as well as Tamil Thalaivas’ blend of youth and experience this season make them a force to be reckoned with.