Debutants Haryana Steelers will be raring to leave a mark on VIVO Pro Kabaddi this season, and their newly announced captain Surender Nada is confident that his combination with coach Rambir Singh Khokhar will go a long way.

“I’m glad to have RS Khokhar as the coach for Haryana Steelers,” Nada tells Marathi daily Loksatta. “I started my kabaddi lessons under his tutelage. He is responsible for my evolution as a kabaddi player. Having a good coach is essential for getting complete knowledge of any thing.”

Nada was an essential part of the 2016 World Cup-winning Indian team’s defence. When asked about his famed “ankle holds”, he humbly says: “Every player has some speciality which they work on and are known for. This is something that I am good at. Khokhar’s guidance has also been invaluable. I take a couple of defenders along and practise this skill every single day.”

The current Haryana Steelers team will depend heavily on Nada’s defensive prowess. They will be hoping that Nada and Mohit Chhillar can replicate the success they had together in their Season 1 stint with finalists U Mumba. The duo formed a solid defensive wall for the Mumbai-based franchise and will be looking to go one better this season. “Mohit stays just 40km from my house. We are good friends and visit each other’s houses quite frequently. We both used to protect the corners earlier for U Mumba and will be doing the same now for Haryana Steelers,” Nada speaks of his team-mate with great goodwill.

The left-corner defensive specialist’s obsession with tattoos is also legendary. He eagerly informs that his tattoos demonstrate his love for kabaddi. “I might get another one or two before the current season,” Nada signs off with a smile.