Vijin Thangadurai serves up a Super Tackle to remember
There are certain moments of sheer brilliance in the sport of kabaddi that often leave the audience breathless, taking a moment to fully fathom what they have just observed. The Arena by TransStadia in Ahmedabad witnessed one such moment in the game between Puneri Paltan and Bengal Warriors on Saturday.
It was the 17th minute of Match 68 and Puneri Paltan were in firm control of the match. They had established a four-point lead having reduced Bengal Warriors down to three men on the mat and were sensing the game’s first All-Out. Bengal Warriors’ coach Jagdish Kumble had introduced substitute Vijin Thangadurai into the game a few minutes ago, looking to change things up and grab a foothold into the game.
Thangadurai had his captain PO Surjeet Singh and veteran Ran Singh for company as Akshay Jadhav came in to raid. Even though he was up against three top defenders, Jadhav went in purposefully, looking to increase Puneri Paltan’s lead.
But barely had Jadhav crossed the bonus line before Thangadurai attempted a brave Ankle-Hold. Jadhav, though, had built up enough momentum to potentially see him cross the midline. That is when captain Surjeet joined in, lending a helping hand to Thangadurai in order to stop Jadhav. With Surjeet on his back, Jadhav tried going over in order to get two points for his team.
It was then that Bengal Warriors’ final defender on the mat, Ran Singh, joined the party. He came in behind Jadhav and attempted a Back Hold.
It seemed for a moment as if Bengal Warriors had finally taken the two points they were looking for to come back into the game. But Jadhav was adamant. He pushed on and stretched his right arm out, almost over the midline. Surjeet, however, managed to narrowly push Jadhav into Bengal Warriors’ half.
Thangadurai was back on his feet by then and ready to pounce. He summoned all his strength and pulled Jadhav back, finally getting the Super Tackle they were looking for.
What made the move special was that it required skill, strength and composure, along with awareness to complete the tackle. This enabled Bengal Warriors to reduce the deficit to two points and finally win the game by a narrow margin.
In a situation where things could have gone away from Bengal Warriors quickly, Thangadurai’s Super Tackle was worth its weight in gold.