What led you to take up kabaddi?
My uncle Surinder was a Kabaddi player and he used to take me along for his practice sessions. I was 10 years old then. This was my first acquaintance with Kabaddi and I never looked back from there. I got hooked to the game and started practicing the game with my uncle and other players. My uncle was the source of inspiration and it is because of him that I have continued Kabaddi and chosen it as a career.
Your journey to Pro Kabbadi league
I train at SAI in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The coaches at SAI have helped me sharpen my skills and tactics. I also play for Air India. Ashok Shinde sir is the coach of Air India. It was his experienced eyes that saw the potential I have and he selected me to play for Puneri Paltan.
Toughest team & player you have faced this season
I believe no team is too strong or too weak. All teams are well balanced and we study their style of play and are constantly working on our shortcomings too.
How much has Pro kabaddi league changed kabaddi in India
Pro Kabaddi League has revolutionized the way people see Kabaddi. It has brought Kabaddi up front and drawn people into the sport. More than anything, PKL is a platform for young and talented players to showcase their talent and get recognition.
Your ambition for the current season
I want to contribute as much as I can to the team since it’s my first season. Puneri Paltan has finished in the 3rd place in Season 3 & 4. I want my team to lift the cup this season.
How do you feel when you play alongside Dharmaraj Cheralathan?
Anna is a very humble person. We get to learn something new from him every day. His guidance and tips have helped me a lot in improving my game. I wish to be like him humble and grounded.
Your World Cup Dreams
Donning the Indian Jersey is my dream. I want to play in the world cup and win gold for my country.
If you had to make a biopic on one Kabaddi player, who would that be and why?
I think Sandeep Narwal would be ideal for a biopic. He has struggled a lot and attained such heights in his career after lot of hard work and setbacks. I think it will be great if every person learns about his journey and struggles via big screen.
As kabaddi is more of an aggressive game, how do you maintain your composure on ground?
Our coach-BC Ramesh sir emphasizes on doing Yoga. Yoga not only helps us in being calm, composed but also helps us to take right decisions on field.
How is the atmosphere in the Puneri Paltan’s dressing room
Our dressing room atmosphere is great. Our team has a perfect balance of young players and experienced players, so every one learns a lot. Even though I am the youngest in the team, my captain and senior players involve me in strategy and planning.
Your future plans for Kabaddi
I wish Kabaddi as a sport achieves greater heights since it is an indigenous sport. Also, I wish Kabaddi becomes an Olympic sport sooner and I hope to be a part of the squad and win gold for the country.
Message to Puneri Paltan’s army (fans)
Our fans are our support system. It is because of them that we get the energy to perform better and better on the mat. Puneri Paltan appreciates your love and support. Keep supporting us. We need your good wishes and support for the home leg from 13th October to 20th October.