As the saying goes, “Attack wins you matches while the defence will get you titles.” This formula has been tried and tested in sports across the world where teams spend millions to strengthen their defence and fight for glory. Similarly, after the ascent of Pro Kabaddi in the past few years, the team owners have started investing in defenders heavily in order to tackle the agile and overnumbered raiders.
From their sturdy built to their gripping hold, few of these defenders have instilled a sense of fear in the minds of the raiders. Here we list the top five defenders who have risen to the top in the league over the years.
Hailing from Nizampur, Haryana, Mohit Chhillar has built a diversified portfolio in PKL over the years. The versatile defender has played for U Mumba, Jaipur Pink Panthers, Bengaluru Bulls and Haryana Steelers over the span of seven seasons successfully leading the charge in defence. Currently involved with Tamil Thalaivas in the seventh season, Mohit’s signature move is the diving thigh hold which completely surprises the raiders at times.
He was a crucial member of the Indian team in the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup and had completed 220 successful tackles up to PKL season six.
Having played mostly for Dabang Delhi in PKL, Ravinder Pahal was the best defender in the second season picking up 64 points from 14 matches. Pahal slowly built a solid reputation for his abilities to corner opponents. He occupies the right corner of the defensive line for Delhi and has an uncanny ability to quickly grab the ankle or thighs of the raiders.
To have played in four PKL finals is a testament to his ability to counter any successful raid. The Iranian defender was instrumental in helping Patna Pirates lift the title back in 2016. His signature move is the dash which usually throws the defender off his guard as he is unable to stand his ground.
His exploits with Patna Pirates convinced Gujarat Fortunegiants to secure his services for season five. Next season, he went on to register a record 83 tackle points to his name as a part of U Mumba, something he would want to replicate in season seven as well.
A true all-rounder in every sense of the word, Sandeep Narwal spent his first three seasons with Patna Pirates. Although he started his career as a part of the defence line up but he worked his way through to become a successful raider as well. He garnered 92 raid points in the inaugural season of PKL denoting his ability to lead raids.
Playing for U Mumba in the ongoing season, Sandeep is tipped to be one of the top performers for his team.
Manjeet Chhillar’s journey from wrestling to Kabaddi has been an exciting one, to say the least. Adjudged as the Most Valuable Player for his all-round performance in the second season, Manjeet has never looked back since.
When Mighty Manjeet Chhillar attacks, there is no way out. pic.twitter.com/tyMxx1nbQb— Puneri Paltan (@PuneriPaltan) April 22, 2017
Leading the table for the most successful tackles in the league, the player from Haryana has unparalleled strength to withhold the strongest of raiders. Tamil Thalaivas success will heavily ride on him in the seventh season.
Feature image courtesy: Star Sports & PKL