We saw the talent of high magnitude throughout the tournament and as an auction for Pro Kabaddi League is just on the corners so most of these players will be on the selector's radars. There they will get to chance to grab national attention and form their path of success, we at KabaddiAdda wish them all the best in their future endeavors.
In the fast-moving game of kabaddi, defenders hunt with patience and wait till they sense an opportunity to flinch from the incoming raider and pull out the right maneuver at the right time to catch them off-guard. Many pundits of the game believe that you cannot lose a game if you have a good defense team at your exposure and this tournament had a plethora of those who showed multiple moments of brilliance to deflate the raiders and turn the match on their heads. Kabaddi being the most strategic game has two corners that are equally important to form and execute any strategy. So here we are listing down Top 3 defenders from both the corners in the tournament.
3. Randeep (Narwal Sports Academy)
Matches 13 | Tackle 96 | Points 46 | Time on Mat 77.52%
In an otherwise dismal show by Narwal Sports Academy at Super 6 stage, Randeep was one of the very few rays of hope for them and he surely did not disappoint as he helped his team with multiple Super 5's during the tournament. Randeep always rose to the occasion and made sure that the right corner of Narwal Sports Academy never gave any loose points to the raiders and created multiple opportunities to grab a point by tackling or assisting a tackle. His best performance of the season came against Amit Ashok Academy in the pool match 31 where he accumulated 9 tackle points and was rightly named the best defender of the match. He is certainly the one to watch out for in the future.
2. Mohit Rajesh (Amit Ashok Academy)
Matches 14 | Tackle 110 | Points 57 | Time on Mat 76.98%
One of the major reasons for Amit Ashok Academy to have almost a flawless season was its defense combo of Mohit & Akshay Kumar. Mohit from right and Akshay from left corners respectively never let anyone break through their defense strategy and rightfully they are ranked 2nd & 3rd respectively in the overall rankings for defenders. Mohit had multiple moments of glory throughout the season but the most prominent being in a match against Narwal Sports Academy in pool match 26 where he got his super10 of the season and help AAA beat NSA quite comprehensively. Mohit will be quite high on selectors' radar for senior outings in the future on the back of this performance.
1. Krishan (NK Academy)
Matches 15 | Tackle 100 | Points 66 | Time on Mat 86.82%
Krishan is arguably the best defender of the tournament and one of the architects or mainstays of NK Academy in their successful campaign. He had a near-flawless season in terms of execution of the defense strategies that his team or he devised for every match as he was one of the main catalysts in generating fear amongst opposition raiders about touching the bonus line as more often than not he went for a solo tackle in those cases and executed them to perfection. He earned himself a tag of big match player as he upped his game in crucial matches and that can be seen in his last three knockout matches where he scored a hattrick of Super5's. He is also considered as one of the best allrounders of the season as his best performance in this tournament came as an allrounder. Although in losing case against Khokhar Academy in pool match 16, not only did he showed his brilliance as a defender but also accumulated 7 raid points with a strike rate of 100. His all-rounder capabilities give him a competitive advantage on selectors' radar.
3. Vijay Kumar (NK Academy)
Matches 15 | Tackle 77 | Points 36 | Time on Mat 79.98%
Besides being the perfect wingman to Krishan in the Right corner, Vijay himself is a force to reckon with as his natural variety of staying low used to catch raiders off-guard on multiple occasions. He raised his bar in the final stages of the tournament and it is quite evident through his best performance which came against Amit Ashok Academy in the last match at Super 6 stage, though NK Academy lost that match, he and Krishan made sure to make that match a complete thriller and falling short by just 2 points. Vijay was the underdog performer of the NK Academy as he did his job silently in the star-studded team.
2. Vikas (Bhaini School)
Matches 13 | Tackle 91 | Points 36 | Time on Mat 78.65%
One of the reasons why Bhaini School was tagged as tournament favorites was because of their defense front handled ably by Vikas & Jaideep. This pair made sure that the raiders were put under immense pressure to push them and perform under do-or-die raid and more often than not they got the bonus point under pressure. Though he has had multiple notable performances, his best came against Chhaju Ram Academy in pool match 17 where Bhaini School just annihilated them. He will definitely be on selectors' radar as a good and natural left corner is very hard to find.
1. Akshay Kumar (Amit Ashok Academy)
Matches 14 | Tackle 100 | Points 54 | Time on Mat 80.91%
Akshay Kumar was one of the few defenders who had the courage as well as the power to go for solo tackles and more often than not successfully execute it. He just waited for a whisker and then attacked full force to tackle down the raiders and that is pretty evident as his ranking as number one left corner and number three in the overall list suggests. He is also one of the very few defenders to have a Super10 to his name and that moment for him came against Warriors Arena Academy in the pool match 40. Having already represented his senior state team of Haryana, it is only a matter of time that he finds in the national reckoning.
2. Nitin Deswal (Narwal Sports Academy)
Matches 13 | Tackle 92 | Points 34 | Time on Mat 82.38%
Often the players who go on to do their job silently are counted as a second fiddle so did Nitin but his contribution was so impactful that his name rose up the ranks pretty soon. His best performance came against Narwal Golden Club in pool match 22, though his teammate Manjeet was the star performer with 21 raid points, his Super 5 gave an assurance that no freebies are given. If he continues to work on his growth chart then he will certainly be the one to look out for.
1. Mohit Jaipal (P&J Academy)
Matches 15 | Tackle 96 | Points 41 | Time on Mat 78.92% | Tackle 31 | Points 22
Mohit is one of the best all-rounders that this tournament saw as he never let the opposition feel the absence of the best raider/defender in the team. His impact was so much so that he turned out to be the leading defender for P&J Academy forming a solid combination with Vinay Rajesh to carry the whole defense of the team throughout the tournament. 6th position on the overall rankings just establishes his mettle. His best performance came against DNHF in the Super 6 stage where he not only got his SUPER 5 as a defender but also accumulated vital 3 points. He will definitely be sought after in the coming years.
2. Vinay Rajesh (P&J Academy)
Matches 15 | Tackle 76 | Points 39 | Time on Mat 84.31%
Vinay with his defense partner Mohit were the key players who were instrumental in taking P&J Academy almost through to the cup only to falter at the last stage at finals. They used to form defense strategies during the match according to the game situation and adapted accordingly. His best performance came in a thriller of a match against NK Academy in pool match 05 where he scored 7 points. He is certainly the one to look out for.
1. Jaideep (Bhaini School)
Matches 11 | Tackle 82 | Points 43 | Time on Mat 85.30%
Arguably the best Cover of the tournament Jaideep lit up the tournament with his impeccable strategies and his ability to remain on the mat the longest helped his case and team's cause to a great extent. His solo tackles were the one to look out for as they bailed Bhaini School multiple times from the bottom. His best was against Narwal Sports Academy in pool match 42 where he scored 9 points to his name. He will definitely be on the national selectors' radar for the senior team.
The tournament certainly had other brilliant performances to look out for and you can catch all the statistics and highlights through the respective links.
Stats round-up: Link
Highlights on Youtube: Link