The eighth edition of the VIVO Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 proved to be a season for the experienced all-rounders to come to the fore and make a considerable impact on the league. While a number of raiders and defenders sizzled on the mat, there were some all-rounders who shone for the team under testing circumstances and contributed fruitfully in the two departments.
Here, we look at the all-rounders who impressed us the most in VIVO Pro Kabaddi League Season 8.
VIJAY (DABANG DELHI K.C.)
Vijay emerged to be Dabang Delhi K.C.’s hero in the PKL Season 8 final against Patna Pirates. The all-rounder outscored lead raider Naveen Kumar in the team’s most important game of the league in a fine fashion. Throughout the season, he pitched in for important tackles alongside his primary raiding skills and finished with 162 points in 23 matches across both the departments. In a side like Delhi filled with stalwarts, Vijay provided a perfect balance with his control over both raiding and defending and played a key role in his side’s maiden title win.
DEEPAK HOODA (JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS)
Deepak Hooda is a name to reckon with on the mat for the Jaipur Pink Panthers. Though he could not help his side to the playoffs, the current national team captain had quite a formidable all-round outing with 120 points in 17 matches for his Kabaddi franchise. Having been asked to hand over the captaincy mid-season to Sandeep Dhull, Hooda kept his performance intact and brought his vast experience into play in both raiding and defending whenever the team demanded.
MOHAMMAD NABIBAKHSH (BENGAL WARRIORS)
Bengal Warriors all-rounder Mohammad Nabibakhsh stole the limelight with some terrific moments on the mat in PKL Season 8. He earned a total of 108 points in 20 matches and contributed in both raiding and defending. The highlight of his PKL career and the team came in the match against Bengaluru Bulls when he inflicted a massive eight-point raid to stun the opposition and viewers alike, eventually inspiring his side to a brilliant comeback win. The Iranian international also produced a fine combination in raiding with captain Maninder Singh that often tested the opposition’s defence.
ROHIT GULIA (HARYANA STEELERS)
Young all-rounder Rohit Gulia displayed tremendous maturity turning out for the Haryana Steelers in PKL Season 8. The Panipat-born player gathered 69 points in 15 matches and showed great amount of courage and tactics in his game. Though Haryana failed to make it to the playoffs by a whisker, Rohit made a strong case for himself on the mat making him one of the players to watch out for in the seasons to come.
SANDEEP NARWAL (DABANG DELHI K.C.)
A PKL veteran who has served a number of teams proved his worth for the eventual champions Dabang Delhi K.C. by donning the raiding and defending responsibilities whenever the team demanded. Not only was Sandeep the raider in-charge in Naveen Kumar’s absence, he also guarded the line with efficiency in a number of important encounters. The all-rounder ended the season with 64 points in 24 matches, with a majority of those coming in crunch situations in an intensely fought league.