The seventh season of vivo Pro Kabaddi proved to be the toughest yet with competition fiercer than ever. While many took up the challenge and shone through, there were some who not only captured the imagination of fans but also had the numbers to show for their achievements. Here we list Season 7’s best players in each position and highlight some of their achievements from the season.
Right Corner – Nitesh Kumar (U.P. Yoddha)
The only defender in vivo Pro Kabaddi history to have amassed a 100 tackle points in a single season, Nitesh Kumar once again showed his class in Season 7 by scoring 75 tackle points and finishing third in the race for the best defender of the season. Seen in a captain’s role this time around, Nitesh picked up 122 total tackles and had an average of 2.91 tackle points per match to go with his 8 Super Tackles and 6 High 5s.
Right In – Naveen Kumar (Dabang Delhi K.C.)
The young prodigy from Dabang Delhi K.C. and Season 7 MVP not only broke the record for most Super 10s in a single season (22) but also now holds the record for the most successive Super 10s in a season (21). Naveen scored a Super 10 in all but one of the matches he played for Dabang Delhi K.C. and finished the season with 301 raid points. Naveen showed great maturity, even in high-pressure situations and was the most successful raider in the final with 18 raid points to his name.
Right Cover – PO Surjeet Singh (Puneri Paltan)
Puneri Paltan skipper Surjeet Singh stamped his authority as one of the best Cover defenders in the league with another impressive season. Surjeet scored 63 tackle points from 21 matches and had the joint-most High 5s in the season at 7. He was also involved in 7 Super Tackles and had an average of 2.66. Surjeet’s mastery of the Short Block and ability to lead the defence from the front made Puneri Paltan the most successful defensive unit of Season 7.
‘Record-Breaker’ Pardeep Narwal has shown his consistency season after season and the seventh season of vivo Pro Kabaddi was no different for him. Even though Patna Pirates were unable to make it to the playoffs, Pardeep managed to cross the 300-raid point mark in a season for the second time in his vivo Pro Kabaddi career and also equalled his Season 5 feat of 34 raid points in a single match this season. Pardeep’s unmatched ability to score big was also seen in his 15 Super Raids, the most by a raider in the entire season.
Left Cover – Mahender Singh (Bengaluru Bulls)
Mahender Singh not only managed to emerge as Bengaluru Bulls’ most successful defender yet again but he also reclaimed the most successful Left Cover defender title from Parvesh Bhainswal this season. Scoring 61 tackle points from 21 matches, Mahender was vital in Bengaluru Bulls making the playoffs even though he didn’t start every match for the team. Taking charge as Bengaluru Bulls’ crisis-man, Mahender’s 9 Super Tackles were the joint-most in Season 7.
Left In – Pawan Kumar Sehrawat (Bengaluru Bulls)
Pawan Sehrawat once again enjoyed an extraordinary season where he scored 346 raid points from 262 successful raids and emerged as the leading raid point scorer of the season. The ‘Hi-Flyer’ also set the record for the most raid points in a single match by scoring 39 against Haryana Steelers in Match 118. Scoring at an unbelievable average of 14.41 raid points per game, Pawan had 13 Super Raids, 18 Super 10s and even a Super Tackle in his most successful season yet. The raider’s ability to lend a hand in defence was also seen in his 14 tackles points and willingness to man the Covers when the team needed it.
The ‘Sultan’ was the season’s most successful defender for the second time in vivo Pro Kabaddi history, equalling veteran defender Manjeet Chhillar’s feat. Scoring 82 tackle points from 24 matches at an average of 3.2, Fazel dominated opposition raiders, often finding the perfect moment to lock in a Diving Thigh Hold or throw in a Block before overcoming them with his brute strength. Fazel’s herculean tackles and ability to manage the defensive setup effectively, while making the best use of the resources available, saw him take U Mumba to the playoffs.