The king of Kabaddi himself, Ajay Thakur is a legend of the sport. He was a part of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup winning team and was the man of the tournament with 68 points to his name. If a passionate sports fan looks closely, then the Indian Kabaddi captain looks like a living replica of another spotting legend of India, MS Dhoni.
It’s uncanny how far the similarities go and here are the reasons why we feel that Ajay Thakur is the MS Dhoni of Kabaddi.
EPITOME OF CALMNESS
Ajay Thakur’s calm demeanour in pressure situations has earned him the nickname ‘Iceman’. Similarly, Dhoni’s exploits under pressure are well known to the world, giving him nicknames like ‘The Finisher’ and ‘Captain Cool’. Both these gentlemen have nerves of steel and it seems like pressure never gets to them. Thakur is a true warrior and fights till the very end for a win, while Dhoni, on the other hand, loves to take the games to the very end and finishes on the right side of the result more often than not. Both these individuals have captained the national team and currently lead their domestic franchises from the front. The sheer passion for their respective sports and the never-say-die attitude both possess make them alike as sportsmen.
THEY CALL THEM ‘THALA’
Both Dhoni and Ajay Thakur represent franchises from Tamil Nadu. Dhoni is the captain of the Chennai franchise in the Indian T20 League while Ajay Thakur leads the Tamil Thalaivas in the Pro Kabaddi. The fans of the respective teams fondly call them ‘Thala’ meaning leader in Tamil. These two individuals are adored by the fans and have some insane fan following. A weird coincidence here is that both Dhoni and Ajay have also represented a team hailing from Pune in their respective domestic leagues.
WORLD CUP WINNERS
Both Thakur and Dhoni have been a part of World Cup winning squads and delivered when it mattered the most, that is, in the final of the competition. In the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup final, India were trailing Iran at a crucial junction of the game. Then came Ajay Thakur and scored a four-point raid to turn the tie on its head and give India the lead.
Similarly, Dhoni came in to bat in the 2011 Cricket World Cup final when India were struggling at 114/3 chasing Sri Lanka’s 275, which was considered a daunting total in those days. Dhoni famously promoted himself up the order and scored a match-winning 91* to lift India’s second-ever 50 over World Cup.
THEIR WILL TO SERVE THE COUNTRY
Both these inspirational individuals have come through humble beginnings and have struggled to become the personalities they are right now. Their love for the country is apparent in their actions. They don’t need to post on social media to display their affection but do groundwork which matters the most. Dhoni famously holds the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel and had a stint with the Indian Army in Kashmir, while Ajay Thakur took to the streets and fulfilled his duty as an officer with the Himachal Pradesh Police to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Indian sport needs more selfless people like these two who continue to inspire the younger generation of our country.
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