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Naveen Kumar - fastest 500 points in PKL, What makes his game so effective ?

Naveen Kumar, better known as "The Naveen Express", became the youngest and fastest in PKL history to reach the 500 raid point. Today, he is unstoppable and a nightmare to all defenders. Let's see what makes him so special.


Naveen's PKL Journey

Dabang Delhi had finished 12th out of 12 teams in PKL 5. That put them in the enviable position to get the first pick in the NYP draft. The newly appointed coach Krishan Kumar Hooda did not waste this opportunity. He picked the 18-year-old Naveen Kumar. 

Checkout Naveen Kumar's Stats and Recent Match Performance

Naveen started his PKL career in Season 6 with Dabang Delhi as a NYP for just 6.60 Lakhs. Since he was a NYP draft, Delhi can retain him for 3 seasons with PKL8 being his 3rd. Ahead of the PKL 8 Auctions,  Dabang Delhi retained him for 90 Lakhs. A just decision by the Delhi management, although they could have retained Naveen at just 6.6 Lakhs. Naveen has repaid the team with his flawless performance so far. 

In his debutante season, he scored 187 raid points from 22 matches with a strike rate of 60.49%. During the entire season, he was on the mat for 78.44% of raids which clearly indicates that he is a thoughtful player who takes calculated risks.

In PKL 7, he scored a massive 319 raid points from 23 matches with a strike rate of 67.6%. He was on the mat for 81% of raids in the season. In PKL 8, from 5 matches alone he already bagged 85 raid points with a fantastic 24 raid points in a single match, which is one of the memorable moments in PKL 8 so far.

One other record that Naveen holds is the most consecutive super 10s, the streak which started from Season 7, now is at 26 consecutive super 10s.

Why is Naveen more effective than other raiders ?

In his entire PKL career, only 15% of raids have been unsuccessful, this clearly showcases the Naveen Express has very limited stops.

During any raid, even small errors from the raider can cost points, when it comes to Naveen, he has a history of making very few errors in his journey. He is always cautious while raiding. A majority of his points come from the running hand touch, which is a low-risk technique compared to the jump, the dubki, or even the toe touch.

A key differentiator for top raiders is their speed and footwork. Naveen is able to score quick points and cross the midline very swiftly. One of the distinguishing factors in Naveen's raids is his astonishing acceleration between midline and baulk line. It causes major damage to the opponent's defense without taking undue risks.

The great advantage of Naveen Kumar is his age, he is only 21 years old and he has a long career ahead. He is at his prime currently and it adds great value to his performance.

As far as the raiding skills are concerned, Naveen is a raider who shows all varieties of raiding skills. Hand touch, Toe Touch, Kick, etc are just a few of his favorite skills.

Another specialty of Naveen is his awareness on the mat. He is always looking for points and is so quick with his movements that every time he will be tempting the defenders to catch him and often erring.

Checkout Naveen's performance in Gotegaon tournament

Naveen is likley to reach 1000 points mark soon and will overcome the records of Pardeep and Pawan. We have to wait and watch his performance in upcoming seasons.