Perhaps the best all-rounder in kabaddi at the moment, no one has successfully executed more Super Tackles than Sandeep Narwal (28) in Pro Kabaddi history. Fourth in the all-time leaderboard for Tackle Points (310), Sandeep is just as electrifying on the other end of the mat and has 249 Raid Points to his name.
The dynamic all-rounder who loves a mean block and dash while defending recently revealed his kabaddi dream team in an Instagram Live on the PKL’s official handle and here we look at the players he chose to be a part of the team, having already picked himself.
Corners – Amit Hooda and Joginder Narwal
Sandeep chose Joginder Narwal to captain his dream team and it doesn’t come much of surprise for those who follow the sport closely. Not the most flamboyant player on the mat, Joginder is someone who likes to lead by example. Excellent at organizing defences, he may not always feature among the points but brings a calming and assuring presence for his teammates on the mat. An experienced head, Joginder has scored 173 Tackle Points during his PKL career.
Amit Hooda is another experienced corner that any team would love to have. The second-best defender in the league in Season 4 with 51 Tackle Points, Hooda’s anticipation and ability to time his tackles perfectly make him a nightmare for raiders to deal with. One of just 17 defenders to have more than 10 High 5s in league history, Hooda’s managed to score five tackle points or more in a match 12 times. He has 237 Tackle Points and maintained a tackle strike rate of more than 50 per cent over the years.
Covers – Surjeet Singh and Manjeet Chhillar
The cover combination of Surjeet Singh and Manjeet Chhillar is one of the best in Pro Kabaddi history and it’s difficult to think of a better duo to play in these positions. Manjeet tops the leaderboard for most Tackle Points (339) and Surjeet isn’t far behind in fifth spot with 278 points.
The second season’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) and a two-time Best Defender in the PKL, Manjeet’s decision-making and vice-like grip make him the tormentor-in-chief for opposition raiders. A formidable frame on the mat and good at reading the play as well, Manjeet’s dashes are often like poetry in motion and generally bad news if you are a raider.
Surjeet, meanwhile, will go down in history as one of the best Right Cover defenders to have ever played the game. Well-adept when deployed as a Left Cover too, he’s just one of two Cover defenders to feature in the top 15 Tackle Points scorers in league history and is the sole Cover defender to notch a minimum of 50 Tackle Points in the last three PKL campaigns.
Raiders – Pawan Sehrawat and Rohit Kumar
Teammates at Bengaluru Bulls, the superstar pairing of Pawan Sehrawat and Rohit Kumar are no strangers when it comes to raiding and wreaking havoc on opponents in tandem. Seventh on the leaderboard for Raid Points (670), Rohit helped Patna Pirates to the PKL crown in the third season and was also adjudged the MVP for the campaign. Unstoppable when in full flight, Rohit’s capable of single-handedly beating any team on his day.
Sehrawat, though, stands a class apart from the other raiders in the league. His breakout season was the sixth edition of the PKL when he notched 282 Raid Points to help Bengaluru Bulls to their maiden title. Sehrawat was named the MVP for his efforts that season and followed it up by scoring 360 in the seventh edition of the league, secondly only to Pardeep Narwal that season – the league’s all-time leading scorer.
Last season saw him break the record for most points in a game. Sehrawat scored 39 points against Haryana Steelers, besting the previous best mark of 34, which was set by Pardeep in the fifth season. A player who thrives under pressure, Sehrawat (26) is second only to Pardeep (53) when it comes to Super Raids as well.
Feature image courtesy: ProKabaddi.com