Sandeep Narwal is no stranger to early success. He represented the Indian national kabaddi team at the Junior Kabaddi Championship in Malaysia in 2010 and has since gone on to become one of the top all-rounders in the sport.
His crowning achievement for India came when he represented the country in the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup and helped the team bring home the trophy.
Hence, Sandeep Narwal knows a thing or two about what young talent looks like. It came as no surprise then that during the Pro Kabaddi live chat show on Instagram, he named some youngsters who had the potential to explode onto the international stage in the coming years.
“Every team had some good young talent but among the current crop of youngsters who played in vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 7, I feel Sonu Jaglan from the Gujarat Fortunegiants is talented and has backed his talent with hard work,” pointed out Narwal. “I feel he is definitely a prospect to watch out for in the future.”
Having played 17 matches for Gujarat Fortunegiants in Season 7, Sonu Jaglan scored 76 points including an impressive 17-point effort against Telugu Titans. The youngster’s speed and ability to escape were particularly noteworthy.
Surender Gill is another youngster Sandeep reckons could do well. The raider from the U.P. Yoddha had managed 80 points from 18 matches in Season 7.
“Gill is another youngster who has impressed me with his performance in the previous season,” said Narwal.
The veteran all-rounder also went on to point out that his team U Mumba, also relied a lot on young talent in the previous season, especially in the raiding department.
Though the team had plenty of experience in defence, they chose to bank on Abhishek Singh and Arjun Deshwal in offence; a decision the youngsters more than justified with their performances. The duo scored 269 points between themselves and thus found mention in Sandeep Narwal’s list as well.
“Those two are special because they exceeded everyone’s expectations,” remarked Narwal. “They could have been forgiven for letting the pressure get to them, but they rose above the challenge and played brilliantly.”
While brilliant performances in the vivo Pro Kabaddi stage do not automatically translate to the international stage, Sandeep felt that these youngsters had the potential to play for the Indian national kabaddi team if their skills were honed right and they put in the work needed to succeed at the highest level.
“Representing your country at the highest level obviously comes down to multiple factors but from what I can see right now all of these guys surely have what it takes to blossom into high-level players and represent India,” the all-rounder said.
Join the discussion with your favourite kabaddi stars as our exclusive LIVE chat show Beyond The Mat continues with Season 2, courtesy @ProKabaddi on Instagram.