Some of the league’s best Corner defenders feature in the list of this season’s best defensive effort.
Season 7 of vivo Pro Kabaddi saw an array of incredible raiding performances from the likes of ‘Hi-Flyer’ Pawan Sehrawat, ‘Record-Breaker’ Pardeep Narwal and MVP Naveen Kumar. However, the season also featured some jaw-dropping defensive efforts from some of the league’s finest players that were crucial in helping their sides emerge victorious on the night. Here’s a look at five of the best defensive performance from vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 7.
1. Neeraj Kumar vs. Puneri Paltan – 11 Tackle Points
Patna Pirates’ standout defender Neeraj Kumar enjoyed a stellar campaign in Season 7 and led the team with 59 tackle points and four High 5s. The highlight of his season was his incredible 11-tackle point performance against Puneri Paltan in Match 92. The powerful Corner defender needed just 13 tackle attempts to score his 11 tackle points. His performance matched the league record set by Manjeet Chhillar in Season 4 against Bengaluru Bulls.
2. Vishal Bhardwaj vs. Jaipur Pink Panthers – 8 Tackle Points
Telugu Titans’ mercurial Left Corner Vishal Bhardwaj enjoyed another outstanding campaign and finished the season with 62 tackle points in 19 appearances. While the young superstar had a multitude of brilliant individual performances this past campaign, his best came against Jaipur Pink Panthers in Match 57, where he scored eight tackle points in just seven tackle attempts in a low-scoring thriller. Bhardwaj had more Super Tackles (2) than unsuccessful tackle on the night and had twice as many points as the next highest scorer on either team.
3. Sandeep Dhull vs. Patna Pirates – 8 Tackle Points
Jaipur Pink Panthers’ Left Corner Sandeep Dhull had a career-best campaign in Season 7, scoring 73 tackle points in 22 appearances. Dhull also had a career-high five High 5s this season, with his best coming against Patna Pirates in Match 23, where he finished with eight tackle points in his team’s 34-21 win. Dhull managed to outscore the Patna Pirates defence on his own and had just one unsuccessful tackle on the night in what a magical display from the Jaipur Pink Panthers ace.
4. Ravinder Pahal vs. U Mumba – 8 Tackle Points
Dabang Delhi K.C.’s veteran defender Ravinder Pahal was the team’s most successful defender in Season 7, managing 63 tackle points in 23 appearances. His best individual performance of the season came in his team’s 40-24 victory over U Mumba in Match 63, where Pahal led the way in defence with eight tackle points. His performance was flawless. The Right Corner scored his eight tackle points in eight attempts with zero unsuccessful tackles, giving him a perfect strike rate of 100. His tally was just two short of what U Mumba managed as a team in the contest and it was performances like these that helped Dabang Delhi K.C. reach their maiden vivo Pro Kabaddi final this season.
5. Fazel Atrachali vs. Haryana Steelers – 8 Tackle Points
‘Sultan’ Fazel Atrachali was at his magnificent best in Season 7. The Iranian became the first foreign defender to score 300 tackle points in vivo Pro Kabaddi and also picked up his second Best Defender Award, becoming only the second player after Manjeet Chhillar to achieve that feat. Off his four High 5s this season, his best one came against Haryana Steelers in Match 130, where he picked up eight tackle points. The U Mumba skipper had just two fewer tackle points than the entire Haryana Steelers team combined on the night and led his side to a crucial 39-33 victory.