Left or Right - The raiders brigade that swooped in points after points
Season 8 of PKL was nothing short of a raid fest with raiders having a go at the defensive setup from left, right, and center. Raiders channeled their confidence and ability to back themselves onto the court even when they were cornered and seemed like they ran out of options.
A host of raiders making their mark on the mat this season young and old, showing some great positive and fearless Kabaddi. Few raiders were a step above the rest by a clear mile. Some were left-sided and, some were right-sided raiders but made an equal impact on the mat.
The top 3 left-sided raiders were:-
The Delhi Dabang started as a team that had an over-the-aging defence and replied on their lead raider for the start of the season. Which was bang on point as Naveen express started the season with lightning speed. He went awol with scoring super 15 after super and his average skyrocketed well over 15 points per game. Teams feared him just by hearing his name but an unfortunate injury in the middle of the season halted his progress and seemed like his edge over others is over but he came back from the injury to lead his side to its first title in the PKL error. He ended the season with 207 points.
The record-breaker started the season in newer surroundings and had the numbers to back the hype among UP faithful. But his start of the season was way too low by his usual standards, which prompted him to take a back seat behind Surender Gill. But as all legends do he came back just at the right moment. Yoodha looked like they will miss the playoffs but he started his super 10 streaks. He scored an all-important 18 raid points against the Puneri Paltans to seal his team's semi-final spot. he ended the season with 188 raid points and 9 super 10.
The Steelers captain had a great responsibility to lead his young side this season. He played a supportive role behind the young K7 star Jaideep and Meetu, leading the side with full throttle. Both leading in offense and defence but ran out of gas mid-way through. Up stepped the captain to save the sinking ship. He did not start scoring super 10 straight off the bat, scoring 7-8 points per game but was consistent enough to get his side going. He just fell short by two points and, his side finished in 7th place with, Kandola scoring 174 points maintaining his 7.91 average.
The top 3 right-sided raiders were:-
The high-flyer Bull Pawan who had a great last season and the season before had similar high hopes for this season as well. He captained his side with elegance and was ferocious when raiding on the mat. He was a living hell for the left side corners as he targeted them day in day out. He was hot on the heels of Naveen Express for the whole season and eventually got ahead of him when he fell into the injury trap. Pawan seized this opportunity with both hands as he overtook him and ended the season by finishing the season as the top scorer with 304 raid points, only raider with 300 points.
The young Arjun had the great responsibility of leading his side in the race for the Playoffs. He was the sides lead raider and had a great task ahead of him. His responsibility went up a notch when his support raiders were failing to get going game after game. The strong-headed Deshwal was unfazed by this burden and took his game up a notch. He was the sides savior in the D.O.D situations as well, with 39 successful dod Raids and 267 raid points.
The tall and brute Maninder Singh has always been the lead raider of his side and has always lit up the Pro Kabaddi Stage. The defending champions had such a gem and used him to his full capacity with doing his sided raids after raids. Maninder Singh was doing his Job game after game while he saw his team struggling to get some kind of positive run going. He did his best for his side but could not save his team from finishing a lowly 9th position. He ended the season with some personal record by crossing the 900 raid point mark despite his team's struggle.
The season ended with some great raiders showing once again their scoring prowess but till their time comes again we will just wait patiently for their next adventure.