The eighth edition of the VIVO Pro Kabaddi League emerged to be a grand success and the tournament paved the way for many players to display their talent on a huge platform. The exemplary performances of numerous defenders in the league showcased the fact that the talent in this challenging sport is on the rise.

Here, we look at the young defenders who have impressed us the most in VIVO Pro Kabaddi League Season 8.

MOHAMMADREZA CHIYANEH (PATNA PIRATES)

The Iranian has become a household name in the Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 and a force to reckon with in the team's starting seven. His strong ankle holds have become a major weapon in Patna’s defence and the raiders are wary of him pouncing from the right corner. The Iranian left no stone unturned in pinning down the best of raiders in the business, having notched up 89 tackle points in 24 matches including ten High 5s, an all-time season record.

JAIDEEP (HARYANA STEELERS)

Haryana Steelers’ emerging player has shown constant improvement since the start of the league and is the one to watch out for in the future. His strong grip with his diving ankle holds combined with his dashes make him a major weapon in Haryana’s armoury. The lanky defender finished PKL Season 8 with 66 tackle points to his name in 22 matches with five High 5s and as many Super Tackles.

SAGAR (TAMIL THALAIVAS)

Tamil Thalaivas beefed up their defence with the arrival of young Sagar on the mat in VIVO Pro Kabaddi League Season 8. The youngster has worked wonders for the side by means of a strong defensive technique that has helped him achieve quite several Super Tackles. Posing as a major threat from the right corner who specializes in diving ankle holds, he has collected 82 tackle points in 22 matches with eight High 5s and an equal number of Super Tackles. At 51%, his tackle success rate has been commendable, and it can only improve in the years to come.

RINKU (U MUMBA)

The young and aggressive Rinku has been the architect of several victories for U Mumba and garnered further accolades when he single-handedly successfully super tackled Sachin in his team’s clash against the Patna Pirates. Built strongly and packed with enormous power, the U Mumba defender collected 60 tackle points in 22 matches with four High 5s and seven Super Tackles. Alongside captain Fazel Atrachali, Rinku formed the backbone of U Mumba’s defence.

SAHUL KUMAR (JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS)

A strongly built Sahul Kumar became the pillar of Jaipur Pink Panthers’ defence in PKL Season 8 and has steadily learnt the tricks of the trade. Picked up by the Panthers in the 2021 auction, Kumar accounted for 45 tackle points in 18 matches with a lone High 5 and two Super Tackles against his name. The most impressive aspect of his defence came in crucial moments when he held fort against attacking raiders and lifted his side from difficult situations.