Name: Surender Nada
Position/Player type: Left corner defender
Key move/Strengths: Surender Nada is known for his ankle hold. Playing at the left corner position, Nada waits for the raider to stick a leg out to claim a bonus or touch point before pouncing on it. Raiders have found it extremely difficult to escape his ankle hold once caught, thus making him one of the favourites to start for India at the left corner position.
Past record: Part of gold-medal winning Indian team at 2016 South Asian Games
Surender Nada established himself as one of the best left corner defenders in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) thanks to his exploits in the opening season with U Mumba. Playing for the eventual runners-up, Nada bagged 48 tackle points and made the left corner spot in the side his own. However, in an interview to Times of India, Nada revealed that he almost missed the bus for the PKL after not being included in the player auction list. It was only through the then-U Mumba coach Ravi Shetty that Nada got into the league as a replacement for Rohit Kumar, who didn't turn up for the duty.
The 28-year-old, who hails from Arhi village in Jhajjar in Haryana, became a kabaddi enthusiast after his elder brother took him to the SAI centre in Sonipat. He trained three for three years starting from 2006 and soon caught the eye of coach Shetty.
The Haryana-born defender has scored 138 tackle points in 47 PKL games in four seasons so far, justifying his selection in the Indian team. Nada, who is now a head constable at CISF, faces competition from top all-rounder Manjeet Chhillar for the left corner position. However, Manjeet's ability to play in other defensive positions may push India's coach Balwant Singh to use Nada's experience at the left corner position.
Moreover, his understanding with the Indian team captain Anup Kumar, who he shared the mat with at U Mumba, makes him an ideal player to patrol the left corner for India at the World Cup.
With inputs from Star Sports release