For the second time in a week, Ajay Thakur proved to be the decisive man for India over Pakistan as the world champions edged the neighbours 36-22 to win the Asian Kabaddi Championship gold medal in Gorgan, Iran on 26 November 2017.
Match-winning showing as India dominated the final completely and Pakistan never came close to bothering Rambir Singh Khokkar-coached side. Sandeep Narwal returned to India’s line-up ahead of Mohit Chhillar who had played in the semifinal against South Korea the same day. India brought in all their experience into the second half as Pardeep Narwal and Maninder Singh chipped in with useful raid points to help Thakur’s cause as well. In the end, India had ensured a comfortable 14 point margin to be crowned champions of Asia.
It was Thakur’s raiding skills that got India over the winning line and kept Pakistan team at arm’s length. His attacking spree gave India a strong start and ruined any plans the men in green may have had of exacting revenge of their 18-44 defeat in the group stages. In the second half, India increased the tempo and intensity to add more points to the tally and made things tougher for their Asian counterparts. A second all-out soon after the breather killed the game as a contest as the Banani Sahi-coached India ran off with the win by 22 point margin.