The tough seventh season of vivo Pro Kabaddi has seen teams need more than just big individual performances to make it to the playoffs stage. Hence, several kabaddi stars will just be spectators during playoffs week despite enjoying good campaigns on the personal front. As the dust still settles on what was a high-octane league stage, here’s a look at the top five raiders who won’t be a part of Season 7’s crescendo.
1. Pardeep Narwal – Patna Pirates
Even though Patna Pirates endured a forgettable campaign, ‘Record-Breaker’ Pardeep Narwal was at his brilliant best. After a slow start to the season, Pardeep set the mat ablaze with clinical raiding displays and finished the three-time champions’ last match of the season as the leading raid points scorer of the season at that stage. That same game saw him match his career-best 34 raid point effort despite spending a lot of the time on the bench. The 'Record-Breaker' also became the first player to 1100 raid points and 50 Super Raids this year.
2. Siddharth Desai – Telugu Titans
Similar to Pardeep, ‘Baahubali’ Siddharth Desai had a tough start to the season as he settled into his new team, Telugu Titans. Desai’s form, though, picked up as the season progressed and he eventually finished with 217 raid points. Along the way, he registered ten Super 10s, seven Super Raids and finished with an average of 9.86 raid points per match. His best performance of the season came against Bengaluru Bulls in a losing effort that saw him score 23 of his side’s 39 points.
3. Deepak Hooda – Jaipur Pink Panthers
Jaipur Pink Panthers and their skipper - Deepak Hooda - started this campaign well, before failing to recover in time from a midseason slump. Hooda was his side’s main raider and finished with 146 raid points to go with his 12 tackle points. A consistent player capable of contributing in defence as well as offence, Hooda didn’t have too many off nights and boasts two Super Tackles, two Super Raids and seven Super 10s.
4. Rohit Gulia – Gujarat Fortunegiants
One of the few positives for Gujarat Fortunegiants this year was the performance of their all-rounder Rohit Gulia. The ongoing season is Gulia’s best in terms of numbers with a total of 142 points earned, which is 81 more than his next best tally for a season. His performances didn’t go unnoticed and he was rewarded for his consistency by coach Manpreet Singh, who handed him the captaincy armband in the middle of the season.
Manjeet was one of the players from Puneri Paltan to enhance their reputation with strong performances on the mat. A versatile talent, Manjeet’s ability to consistently contribute on both ends of the mat is perhaps what separates him from many of the players on this list. He finished the season as Puneri Paltan’s leading raid points scorer and also had a decent tackle strike rate of 45.9%.