It was all fun and games for Dabang Delhi KC until the day of the grand finale of Pro Kabaddi season seven where they faced Bengal Warriors. Before that, the team from capital dominated proceedings both in the league stages and Playoffs. However, a poor defensive show costed them the title and their wait to taste glory for the first time in the league was prolonged once again.

The defensive lapses in the final showcased that the game of Kabaddi isn’t always dictated by the will of the raiders and the eternal quote that defence wins you titles maybe wasn’t known to Delhi. Citing the importance of defence in the game, let us reminisce some of the best defensive performances that encapsulated us in the seventh season of Pro Kabaddi.     

Neeraj Kumar (11 points) vs Puneri Paltan

Even though Patna Pirates’ defender Neeraj Kumar failed to make it to the Top 10 in the most tackle points list this season, he came up with a splendid show against Puneri Paltan in the league stage and ended up with a record 11 tackle points in the match.

Coming into the encounter, Neeraj had been scoring just a solo point here or there but against Pune, he delivered one of his finest performances. His spectacular show coupled with Pardeep Narwal’s 18-point performance took Patna to a huge-margin victory.

Vishal (9 points) vs Gujarat Fortunegiants

Jaipur Pink Panthers have been a defensive powerhouse this season and a lot of that credit goes to all-rounder Vishal. One of his best matches of the season was against Gujarat Fortunegiants. Both the teams put up gritty defensive displays but Vishal’s presence provided Jaipur with a slight edge.

Vishal picked up a High 5 at the start of the second half and also contributed on the attacking front. Though the closely fought match ended in a tie, Vishal’s performance was lauded.

Fazel Atrachali (8 points) vs Haryana Steelers

Fazel Atrachali was the driving force for U Mumba’s victories this edition and ended the season as the defender with the maximum tackle points. His most fruitful performance came against Haryana Steelers where he scored a massive eight tackle points to propel his team to a comprehensive victory.  

The Iranian defender is one of the most successful defenders in Pro Kabaddi history and this season was a testament to his abilities to turn things around in the favour of his team.

Sandeep Kumar Dhull (8 points) vs Patna Pirates

Covering the left corner for Jaipur Pink Panthers, Sandeep Kumar Dhull enjoyed resounding success this season as he racked up a total of 73 tackle points. However, his most clinical performance came in a league-phase encounter against Patna Pirates where a solid defensive show by Sandeep got the better of a star raider like Pardeep Narwal.

Sandeep registered eight tackle points in the match and effectively took his team to victory, negating the strength of a strong raiding unit.

Feature image courtesy: Star Sports and Pro Kabaddi