The pressure of Pro Kabaddi Playoffs might just be too much to bear for some and here we take a look at those players who need to be on their guards.
Season seven of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) is about to enter its most exciting phase. The stage is set for the players to come out with all guns blazing and take centre stage in the Playoffs. The spotlight will be on star players such as Naveen Kumar and Pawan Kumar Sehrawat who have mesmerized the fans with their record-breaking performances, but the extreme pressure of the knockout stages might get to some.
Here we bring you the list of players who might bow out or falter in the Playoffs.
UP Yoddha’s raider Monu Goyat has been a disappointment so far. Playing for Haryana Steelers in the previous season, Monu posted impressive numbers but the story has taken a complete u-turn in the ongoing season. Goyat has just managed 65 points in his 13 encounters in the season so far with a maximum of 11 points in a match against Dabang Delhi. His inconsistency has been a huge let down for his team as he had built a reputation of turning things around in the last season with Haryana. UP Yoddha have qualified for the Playoffs for the third consecutive season but given his recent run of form, it might take something special from Goyat to uplift himself and prove his critics wrong.
Occupying the right corner for the Haryana Steelers, Vikas Kale’s defensive skills have been rather average. In an encounter against Bengaluru Bulls recently, he was caught off guard by star raider Pawan Kumar Sehrawat who managed to score 10 touch points off him. The Playoffs will surely bring out the best of these star raiders who will eventually manage to score easy points off Kale, and Haryana might just be on the backseat. Kale has been averaging over just one tackle point a match this season and the toll is not expected to improve anytime soon until he wants to take a miraculous turn.
The 29-year-old surely seems to be finding it difficult to adapt to the changing pace of the game. Holding the right corner for Dabang Delhi in the seventh season so far, Pahal’s susceptibility to the running hand touch has been exposed by the raiders in past encounters this season. Although his average of almost three tackles per match has boded well for Delhi, the question of vulnerability still isn’t addressed. Teams in Playoffs are aware of his weakness and will tend to find a way to score maximum points against him.
Surinder Singh’s journey with U Mumba in the ongoing season has been quite shaky. Singh usually plays on the right corner for his team and his performances have dropped as compared to his outings in the previous season. His defence tactics have been rigid, and Singh is unable to move quickly to outwit the raiders. He becomes an easy target for the opponent raiders and his rigidity has let to a decline in his tackle points as well, which have gone down from 62 in the last season to 46 in the current one, thus far.
The Playoffs demand the players to stay on alert and grab every opportunity to earn points. If any one is found lacking in his pursuits, the team will suffer and the dream of lifting the championship will be over before it even begins. All that the fans can hope for is for their favourite stars to get their mojo back and lift the coveted trophy on October 19.
Feature image courtesy: Star Sports & Pro Kabaddi