The 67th Senior National Kabaddi Championships concluded in Jaipur on the 6th of March with the Men's and Women's teams of the Indian Railways clinching the title. We saw some fabulous performances from individual players in both categories, however, there were some famous players who failed to make a mark at the tournament. While in some cases, their performances led to the team bowing out of the tournament, other cases saw their teammates holding the fort, and taking the team over the winning line.
Let us have a look at 5 players who disappointed at the 67th Senior National Kabaddi Championships:
Pardeep Narwal, the leading points scorer of the Pro Kabaddi was a part of the Haryana team. The only player to reach the 1000 point mark in PKL was one of the biggest disappointments at the Senior National Championships 2020. Haryana, as a result, bowed out of the tournament after their quarterfinal loss against the eventual champions Indian Railways. Pardeep went on to score just 36 points in five matches from 77 raids.
Narwal scored only one Super 10 in the five matches that he played. He scored only five points in the opening match against Tamil Nadu, which the Haryana team lost. It was one of the shocking losses of the tournament. He then picked up seven points in Haryana's first win of the tournament against Goa. The following match saw him score 12 points and looked like Pardeep was back in form. However, it was yet again a below-par performance when Haryana played Pondicherry in the pre-quarterfinals. He scored only 7 points from 17 raids, numbers that do not go hand-in-hand with the quality of the player that Pardeep is. In their final match against Indian Railways, Pardeep faced a strong defense and was tackled six times in his 15 raids and managed to score only five points in the match.
While it could be said that he also did not get much support from his teammates in the tournament, the individual performance for the top PKL star has definitely taken a hit.
The original poster boy of Pro Kabaddi in India, Rahul Chaudhary, led the Uttar Pradesh team to the semifinals in the 67th Senior National Championships. On their way to the final four, the UP team faced a couple of small teams like Tripura and Vidarbha in the league stages. It was complete dominance by the North Indian state over these two teams as they won both the matches by a margin of more than 30 points. Rahul stayed away from raiding and gave other team members the opportunity to put points on the scoreboard in the first two matches. The third league match against Pondicherry ran into controversy with the team from the Union Territory being announced as the winner midway, through a toss of a coin.
The pre-quarter match against Tamil Nadu was one of the closest matches of the tournament as UP managed to win by a margin of just two points. Rahul managed to score only six points from 17 raids in that match, which was followed by eight points from 19 raids performance in the quarterfinals. His best performance came against the Services team in the semifinals as he went on to score his only Super 10 from 20 raids. Chaudhary scored a mere 37 points from 71 raids, an indication that Chaudhary's under-performing era is not over yet.
The lad from Tamil Nadu was one of the talking points from the Pro Kabaddi 2019 when Ajith Kumar played for the Tamil Thalaivas. However, the youngster scored only 19 points from four matches (50 raids). He scored only four points in 17 raids in the opening match against Haryana, which saw Tamil Nadu defeating the biggies of the game. With five points each coming in the next three games, Ajith Kumar could not do too much for his team. His poor performance saw Tamil Nadu play a tight match against Uttar Pradesh and eventually lost to them in the Round of 16.
Rohit Kumar led the Services team to the final of the Senior National Kabaddi Championships in Jaipur. However, it could be said that the entire team missed his contribution to lifting the trophy. Services lost to the Indian Railways in the second consecutive final to end up as runner-ups. Standing 28th in the top raiders list, Rohit Kumar scored 25 points from 58 raids. Rohit went on to score 7, 2 and 0 points in the first three matches.
His score of 7 was Rohit's best performance in the tournament, as he failed to score more than that in the knockout stages as well. In the finals, he scored only three points, which could very well be one of the reasons that Services lost the match. One of the top raiders in the sport, Rohit would be looking to bounce back as the professional Kabaddi season approaches.
Surjeet Singh is the only defender on our list. Playing for the Services team, Surjeet was one of the most important raiders defenders for the team apart from Nitesh Kumar. The Puneri Paltan skipper did not live up to the expectations and also went on to finish games without scoring a single tackle point, which included the semifinals against Uttar Pradesh. In the entire tournament, Surjeet scored a total of just 10 tackle points from seven matches.
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