Since his debut in the Pro Kabaddi League with U Mumba in the tournament’s second campaign, Fazel Atrachali has been a game-changer for every team that he’s lined up in his glorious career so far.
The Iranian defender has steadily established himself as one of the best defenders in the game, however, there’s a case to be made that he is, in fact, the greatest defender in the history of the league. And here is why:
A statistical genius
Since debuting in season 2, no other defender has scored more tackle points than Atrachali. His 317 tackle points are 20 clear of next best, Ravinder Pahal, who has scored 297 during the tenure.
Atrachali is also among the top four in every relevant statistical defensive category in Pro Kabaddi history. Among the top 10 tackle point scorers in the league, Fazel’s average of 3.08 tackle points per game ranks second only to Manjeet Chhillar’s 3.14.
Perhaps what outlines his efficiency and ability more than anything else is his tackle strike rate, which is calculated by dividing the number of tackle points by the number of tackles attempted, multiplied by 100.
Atrachali boasts of a 64.04 tackle strike rate, the only player among Pro Kabaddi’s top 10 tackle point scorers to have a strike rate of over 60. Manjeet Chhillar is next best with 54.58.
When it comes to High 5s, Atrachali ranks fourth all-time behind PO Surjeet Singh (27), Manjeet (23) and Pahal (23) with 21. The Iranian also ranks sixth on the all-time Super Tackles list, behind U Mumba teammate Sandeep Narwal (28), Dharmaraj Cheralathan (25), Mohit Chhillar (23), Jeeva Kumar (22) and Vishal Bhardwaj (21).
Any list outlining a player’s defensive domination in Pro Kabaddi is incomplete without the great Iranian, illustrating his incredible impact on the league.
A serial winner
With his second Best Defender award in Season 7, Atrachali became the only player alongside Manjeet Chhillar to win the honour twice.
The Iranian has won the Pro Kabaddi title twice, once in Season 2 with U Mumba and then in Season 4 with Patna Pirates, the season he also won his first Best Defender award.
Atrachali is the only player that has made it to the playoffs six seasons running, an incredible personal achievement.
Winning and Atrachali goes hand-in-hand as proven by his exploits in the Pro Kabaddi. No other defender has had an impact quite like the great Iranian has and hence, it is safe to say that Fazel Atrachali is the greatest defender in Pro Kabaddi history.
Feature image courtesy: Prokabaddi.com