A comparative analysis of Nitesh Kumar and Fazel Atrachali; two of the best defenders of Pro Kabaddi League.

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Ask any prominent raider in the Pro Kabaddi League whom they dread the most, and Nitesh Kumar and Fazel Atrachali will surely feature among the list of top five names. Rightly so, both the defenders have made a name for themselves in the league, delivering consistent performances season after season. 

Both Fazel and Nitesh's mere presence on the court brings a lot of stability and instils a sense of confidence within the defensive unit of the team. One operating from the left while other from the right corner, both have been instrumental in leading the defence of their respective sides. 

The numbers of both the players are quite phenomenal with little separating the two feisty characters. While one has already become a household name, other has been making a significant mark in his nascent PKL career. 

In this article, we look at the comparative analysis between these two corner defenders.

1.Battle for the ‘Numero uno’ spot

Name

Team

Matches

Tackles

Total Tackle Points

Average Tackle Points

Tackle Strike Rate

Fazel Atrachali

U Mumba

71

364

222

3.13

60.98

Nitesh Kumar

UP Yoddha

67

367

222

3.31

60.49

Head to head – Fazel vs Nitesh

Both Fazel and Nitesh stand neck to neck in terms of the most successful defenders in the league. Interestingly, both have the same number of tackle points (222) from the last 3 editions of PKL. While Nitesh has a slightly better average tackle points per match (3.31) compared to Fazel (3.13), the Iranian pips the right defender with a slightly better tackle strike rate of 60.98 over 60.49 of Nitesh.

2. Matchup against the best raider of the league – Pardeep Narwal

Name

Matches

Tackles

Total Tackle Points

Tackle Strike Rate

Fazel Atrachali

71

17

15

    88.23

Nitesh Kumar

67

21

12

    57.14

Pradeep Narwal has inarguably been the best raider in the history of the league with most number of raid points scored, rattling the opposition defences with ease. Looking at both these defender’s performances against the Dubki king, Fazel clearly holds the edge over his rival. Fazel has scored 15 tackle points from 17 tackles at a stellar strike rate of 88.23. On the contrary, Nitesh's performance against Pardeep has been subdued with a meagre return of 12 tackle points from 21 tackles with a strike rate of 57.14. Fazel clearly holds the upper hand over Nitesh in this regard. 

3. Contribution in wins

Name

Matches

Tackles

Total Tackle Points

Average Tackle Points

Tackle Strike Rate

Fazel Atrachali

44

210

160

3.64

76.19

Nitesh Kumar

31

192

114

3.68

59.37

Here again, there is a neck to neck battle between the two superstars with the average tackle points scored in wins almost similar at 3.64 and 3.68 for Fazel and Nitesh respectively. But when it comes to the tackle strike rate, the Iranian clearly holds the ascendancy over the Yoddha skipper with a tackle strike rate of 76.19 from 210 tackles in victory causes as against 59.37 for Nitesh Kumar.

4. Performance in Super Tackles

Name

Matches

Tackles

Super Tackles

Fazel Atrachali

71

364

11

Nitesh Kumar

67

367

17

As far as the performance in super tackles is concerned, the right corner star wins the race with 17 super tackles to his name compared to the U Mumba captain who has 11. Nitesh Kumar is also the 2nd highest points scorer in the league from the last three editions with respect to the number of successful super tackles.

5. Performance breakdown over the course of the match 

Nitesh Kumar - Tackle points scored as per time intervals:

Time Intervals

Tackles

Total Tackle Points

Average Tackle Points

Tackle Strike Rate

01-05 Mins

28

15

0.21

53.57

06-10 Mins

39

18

0.25

46.15

11-15 Mins

42

31

0.44

73.8

16-20 Mins

43

28

0.39

65.11

21-25 Mins

45

30

0.42

66.66

26-30 Mins

42

28

0.39

66.66

31-35 Mins

40

28

0.39

70

36-40 Mins

85

44

0.62

51.76

Comparing the performance of both the defenders across the entire duration, there is not much to separate between the two in the first half of play as both are equally dominant. However, in the closing stages of the match, in the final 10 minutes of play, the two-time PKL trophy winner holds the advantage over his opponent with a tackle strike rate of 70 and 51.76 in the final 10 minutes of the match.

Fazel Atrachali - Tackle points scored as per time intervals:

Time Intervals

Tackles

Total Tackle Points

Average Tackle Points

Tackle Strike Rate

01-05 Mins

32

15

0.22

46.87

06-10 Mins

50

34

0.51

68

11-15 Mins

45

30

0.45

66.66

16-20 Mins

46

30

0.45

65.21

21-25 Mins

41

24

0.36

58.53

26-30 Mins

42

29

0.43

69.04

31-35 Mins

43

27

0.4

62.79

36-40 Mins

66

33

0.49

50

Overall, from the above analysis, it is clear that the Fazel Atrachali clearly holds the edge over Nitesh Kumar in the battle of the corner defenders. No wonder why he is rightly regarded as the Sultan of defense in Pro Kabaddi with his impeccable skills.