Raiders win you matches, but when it comes to winning the tournament you need rock solid defenders. Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) has historically seen a lot of star defenders. Be it the thigh hold, the ankle hold or the dash, PKL has seen everything.
The crowd enjoy a great tackle too, just like they enjoy a good raid. The seventh season of the PKL is just around the corner and we felt it is a good time to look at the top defenders. It is always tough to leave out specific players, but we decided to
As we get ready for season seven of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) from July 20, it is time to look at the exciting names in the fray. It is always tough to zero down on three names, but we took pains to do just that. With due regard to those left out, here are our picks.
Fazel Atrachali – U Mumba
One of the top foreign players in the Pro Kabaddi League, Atrachali remains the only international player to feature in four finals. The Iranian’s rock-solid performances at left corner made that position his own. His specialised ‘dash technique’ sprinting across the mat to stop the raider has now become a signatory step.
With 235 tackle points to his name in 79 games, Atrachali consistently features in the top-three list of defenders almost every season. That includes 15 super tackles to his name, which makes Atrachali an important cog for U Mumba’s success.
Parvesh Bhainswal – Gujarat Fortunegiants
At left cover for the Fortunegiants, the 22-year-old defender has been the cornerstone of their season 6 success. With 86 points in 25 games, he took his side to the final only to narrowly lose out on the title.
Even in the previous season – PKL 5 – he was successful with 48 tackle points in 24 games. There is no doubt that the youngster will look to be at the best of his game this season. Matching last season exploits could be the way out for Bhainswal, who will be the key for Fortunegiants if they want to win the title.
Nitesh Kumar – UP Yoddha
UP finished third last season, exceeding all expectations. Most of their success is down to their defence led by Nitesh Kumar. He made history last season becoming the first defender to score 100 points in a single season.
His responsibility increases this season, as Nitesh comes back as the captain of Yoddha. Owing the right corner and making his signatory ankle hold a household name, Nitesh has excelled in PKL 6. He was the best defender last season, but if UP want to improve on their third position, their captain will have to replicate those heroics.
Not just these three, PKL season 7 have a number of top defenders on view. All-rounder Majeet Chhillar (302 PKL career tackle points), Ravinder Pahal (263 points) and Mohit Chhillar (240) are just some of the names who couldn’t force their way into our list. And, like the saying goes, top defenders win you tournaments!
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