It is often said that raiders may win matches, but quality defenders can win a team tournaments. As the first match of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 7 draws near, we take a look at some star defenders who could prove hard for any raider to get around.

1. Nitesh Kumar – U.P. Yoddha

In Season 6, Nitesh Kumar created history by becoming the first defender to score a century of tackle points in a single season at an unbelievable average of four tackle points per match. His feat included 92 successful tackles and 8 High 5s and he was instrumental in U.P. Yoddha’s journey till Qualifier 2. His impeccable timing and inescapable Ankle Holds make him a huge threat.

2. “Sultan” Fazel Atrachali – U Mumba

VIVO Pro Kabaddi’s most successful foreign defender, U Mumba’s Fazel Atrachali rose to prominence in Season 4, finishing as the top tackle-point-scorer of the season. Since then his game has grown by leaps and bounds and the powerful Iranian is currently one of the most feared tacklers in the league with 235 tackle points to his name.

3. Parvesh Bhainswal – Gujarat Fortunegiants

One half of Gujarat Fortunegiants’ lethal Cover combination, Parvesh Bhainswal proved he is second to none when it comes to stopping any raider in his tracks. He finished as the second-most successful defender in Season 6 with 86 tackle points to his name in 82 successful tackles. A master of the short Block, Bhainswal will once again hold the key for his team’s success.  

4. Sandeep Dhull – Jaipur Pink Panthers

When the chips are down, there are few more reliable defenders than Jaipur Pink Panthers’ Sandeep Dhull. He proved his knack for delivering in pressure situations in Season 3 where he had the most Super Tackles in the season (6). He finished Season 6 with 67 tackle points to his name, which included 5 Super Tackles. With Amit Hooda’s support this season, the Left Corner could make the difference for Jaipur Pink Panthers.

5. Vishal Bhardwaj – Telugu Titans

A youngster who showed extraordinary maturity by leading the Telugu Titans defence in Season 6, Vishal Bhardwaj finished with 60 tackle points in the season from 17 matches at an average of 3.53. He also had the most Super Tackles in the season (9) and five High 5s. His ability to surprise raiders with Ankle and Thigh Holds when least expected have seen him become one of the league’s star defenders.