PKL 2021: Play of the Day 2 – Ajay Thakur returns without putting a single raid against Puneri Paltan
Dabang Delhi's veteran raider Ajay Thakur not required to put a raid despite being in the starting seven is The Bridge's Play of the Day 2.
The Dabang Delhi is one of the strongest sides on paper in Pro Kabaddi League 2021. With the presence of Naveen Goyat, Vijay Malik, Ajay Thakur in the raiding department and Joginder Narwal, Sandeep Narwal and Manjeet Chillar in the defence they look literally unstoppable.
But, what good comes from on paper strength, if a team cannot convert it into an onfield performance. The Dabang Delhi did just that as they crushed the Puneri Paltan 41-30 in their opening encounter.
What stood out in this convincing victory for the Dabangs was the fact that their veteran raider and Padma Shri awardee Ajay Thakur was not required to put in even a single in the entire duration of the match. In fact, Thakur was substituted ahead of the start of the second half and he never back in.
The Dabang coach and Dronacharya Awardee, Krishan Singh Hooda, brushed off any injury concerns and maintained that it was a team strategy.
And it is hard to argue with the coach's analysis.
Delhi's young raiding duo of Naveen Goyat and Vijay Malik was on the top of their game against the Puneri Paltan on day 2. They combined pocketed a massive 25 points with their attacking skills. While the former pocketed 16 points, the latter just about missed out on a Super Ten with 9 points.
Even while the Dabang Delhi were on the verge of an all-out at the stroke of halftime with just Ajay Thakur and Vijay Malik on the mat, it was the youngster who went in for the raid after the veteran whispered some advice into his ears.
Malik repaid the faith as he returned with a touchpoint in the final raid before halftime and just delayed the prospects of an all-out.
Ajay Thakur had earlier, in an exclusive interaction with The Bridge, mentioned that how he would be the secondary raider behind Naveen Goyat for Dabang Delhi. But if the Thursday night clash against Puneri Paltan is anything to go by, we might not see the former Indian captain raiding a lot in PKL 2021.