Pro Kabaddi League 2019: How Dabang Delhi’s Naveen Kumar prepared for new season
After five seasons of below average track record, Dabang Delhi punched weight above their weights in season 6 last year. The high quality defence department was helped by the solid raiding unit, and Delhi managed to push themselves through to the playoffs. One of the reason for success was the debutant raider Naveen Kumar, who scored 177 raiding point in 22 games to make a name for himself.
But after a breakout season, many wondered if Naveen can continue to work wonders in the 7th season of the tournament. Now after four games, Delhi, with just one defeat so far, are already at the top of the pile, with Naveen being the key player for the side.
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In four games, the 19-year-old has scored 42 points for his side, which 3 Super 10s already in the tournament. Even in Delhi’s lone defeat to Gujarat Fortunegiants Thursday night, Naveen pushed his weight and was the leading scorer for his side with 10 points.
“This year, I am more focused on endurance. I also have increased the weight and strength. I have also included some new tricks up my sleeves, which I am practicing in the training everday,” the raider had told Hindustan Times in an exclusive chat before the start of the season.
The youngster further added that the side is focusing on being fit this year, as a physically strong unit can only win the trophy. “The fitness level is perfect. Our entire team is fit. The coach has planned good training sessions. I believe, “fit hai, to banda hit”, so there is a lot of focus on being healthy. We are game ready,” he said.
Naveen, who hails from a small village, Bhaini Kungar in Bhiwani district of Haryana, further stressed that for Delhi to win the title, both the raiding and defence departments have to work in tandem. “Kabaddi is a team sport. The raiding and defence department has to work together. Last year, our raiders stepped up to the challenge, and the defence was also good. So this year, we will look to work as a team and take the team forward.”