PKL play-offs are around the corner and all the teams will be capitalizing on how their raiders perform in eliminators and semifinals.
Season seven of the Pro Kabaddi League is heading towards its climax as the top six teams from the league stage will now take each other on in the playoffs. Bengal Warriors and Dabang Delhi directly booked their birth in the semi-finals itself, by securing first and second spot in the league table. The other four teams, however, have to play the eliminators to move to the semis. The third-ranked team will play the sixth-ranked team in Eliminator 1 and the fourth-ranked team will face off with the fifth-ranked team in Eliminator 2.
Teams in PKL are heavily dependent on their raiders to score in every game, and with the playoffs starting from 14th October, all eyes will be on these five raiders who have performed exceptionally well so far.
1. Pawan Kumar Sehrawat
Pawan Sehrawat has been the most prolific player this season, scoring a mammoth total of 309 points so far. Sehrawat broke Pardeep Narwal’s record of most raid points in a PKL match when he scored 39 points against Haryana Steelers.
His speed, agility and ability to jump high has earned him the name of ‘Hi-flyer’ and he carries with him the hopes of Bengaluru Bulls to retain their title from last season. The 23-year-old will be looking forward to getting the most raid points this season, as he is just seven markers behind Patna Pirates’ Pardeep Narwal.
2. Naveen Kumar
One of the finest raiders this season, Naveen Kumar made his PKL debut in 2018, at the age of 18. At season’s end, he became the youngest player to finish as a team’s leading scorer and took Dabang Delhi to their maiden appearance in the playoffs. Having scored 177 points in his debut season, he improved upon his form even further and already has 256 raid points to his name in Season 7.
While Kumar is blessed with explosive speed and quick reflexes, an urge to learn quickly and honing his craft to perfection is the reason behind his success so far.
3. Maninder Singh
Leading the attack for Bengal Warriors, Maninder Singh has scored almost half their raid points this season. He returned to PKL in Season 5 after finishing third in the list of top raiders in Season 1 with titlists Jaipur Pink Panthers.
Maninder’s success rate this season as a raider has been quite good at 64.46, and he also averages above ten in raid points per match. His ability to outsmart defenders and running hand-touches make him a lethal raider.
4. Shrikant Jadhav
Shrikant Jadhav is ‘do-or-die’ specialist for UP Yoddha who gets them points in difficult situations when his team needs him the most. He already has 134 points so far this season which makes him the top performer of his team.
His not out percentage for this season reflects what threat he posses whenever he is sent to perform a ‘do-or-die’ raid. He has a not out percentage of 77.27 which directly means he does not give away easy points to the defending team.
5. Vikash Kandola
Haryana Steeler’s Vikash Kandola came into spotlight after scoring 177 points in season six for his team. He not only specializes in running hand touches, but his ability to pull out bonus points makes it tricky for the defending teams to deal with.
He has already surpassed his tally of last year and is looking in great form. His team relies on him to keep the score board ticking and will provide the Haryana side a helping hand in going through the play-offs.
Feature Image Courtesy: Star Sports & Pro Kabaddi