Top 5 Defenders from 67th Senior Nationals Kabaddi Championships
Senior Nationals Kabaddi Championships 2020 was concluded a few days back in Jaipur with Indian Railways dominating the tournament by winning both men and women titles for the second consecutive year. Let us go back and see who are the top 5 defenders (Mens) from the 67th Senior Nationals Kabaddi Championships.
Ankush Ashok: Chandigarh (27 tackle points)
Ankush Ashok who was impressive in the 46th Junior National Kabaddi Championships where he scored 24 points in 5 games, he for sure did not missout in Jaipur during the 67th Senior National Kabaddi Championships where he managed to score 27 tackle points and was the key as Chandigarh qualified to the knockouts.
This young lad who plays left corner for Chandigarh was at the top of his game and scored more than five points three out of four times he turned up for his team and gave good support to Vijay who was their main raider. In the first game against Telangana State, he managed to score six tackle points out of the ten tackles he put as Chandigarh won a close game with the score reading 47-42. His best performance based on points scored came against Andhra Pradesh where he managed to get twelve points in thirteen tackles but his most impactful performance was the one against Indian Railways in the quarter-finals where he scored seven tackle points in eight tackles and managed to stop Pawan Sehrawat quite a few times in the game.
Ankush had a cracker of a tournament and for sure would have gained the attention of a lot of PKL franchises, it will be interesting to see if he goes big in this years PKL auction.
Sandeep Kandola: Services (27 tackle points)
Sandeep Kandola who featured for the Telugu Titans in season 2 of the PKL was seen in action for the services team in the 67th Senior National Kabaddi Championships in Jaipur and he was at his best during the 5-day tournament where Services ended runners up.
Sandeep Kandola started the tournament at a slow pace, in the league states he scored a total of seven points in three games, as the tournament went into the knockouts there was a different Sandeep Kandola seen in action where he pilled up twenty points in four games which turned out to be a key for Services in the knockout leg.
in the Quarter Finals, Sandeep scored six tackle points in nine tackles he put to keep Karnakata out of the game, he was clinical in stopping Raiding duo of Sukesh Hegde and Prathap of Karnataka. In the semi-final clash against UP, he again produced an impactful performance to help Services qualify to the finals where he scored 6 points in 7 tackles he attempted and he was key to stopping Abhishek Singh who got only two points in nine raid attempts. His best performance of the tournament came in the all-important finals of the tournament against a strong Indian Railways team. The highlight of that game was when he was able to stop Pawan multiple times in the game especially in the first half where Services were on top, but this was not enough as Indian Railways came strong in the second half to take the crown.
Sandeep had a tournament to remember where he could show his class against tough opposition and he was able to do that when it mattered the most. It will be interesting to see if this performance will earn him some bucks in the PKL auctions and if he can make a come back to PKL in the upcoming season.
Shubham Shinde: Maharashtra (22 Points)
Number 3 in the list is this young lad Shubham Shinde who represented Maharashtra in the 67th Senior National Kabaddi Championships, this young lad who plays for Puneri Paltan in the PKL had a good tournament for Maharashtra where he was able to score 22 points in five games and also scored five or more points in three of those games.
In the first game against Jammu and Kashmir, he scored five points out of the six tackles he put and led from the front for his state in the defense department. His most impactful performance came against Ajay Thakur's Himachal Pradesh where he again scored five points in six tackles he put to keep Himachal Raiders at bay. He also put up a decent show against the home team Rajasthan where he scored 6 tackle points but it was too late in the game as Maharashtra went down to a good looking Rajasthan in the Quarter-Finals, in the first half he was not up to the mark as Rajasthan took a huge lead but as the 2nd half came by one could see a different Shubham in action where he was tackling with intent but this was not enough to take Maharashtra over the line.
All in all, Shubham did have a great tournament which he will remember for a while and we are sure that he would have caught the attention of a lot of PKL franchises who were present there to spot and identify talent.
Ravindra Pahal: Indian Railways (20 points)
The Hawk was back in action in the 67th Senior National Kabaddi Championships, he was seen playing for the star-studded Indian Railways who went to win the tournament where Pahal was one of the key elements that worked for them to successfully defend their title.
Pahal was impactful right from the start for Indian Railways, in the first game against Jharkhand Pahal scored three points in the game and was on mat 100% of the time. Going forward in the league stages with a bunch of one-sided games where Pahal was decent. As the Knockouts came by we could see the Vintage Pahal back in action where he scored a total of fifteen points in three games. In the quarter-final against Haryana, Pahal stayed on mat for 82% of the time to make sure Railways got the better of Haryana. He was clinical in this game as he was able to stop Pardeep more than twice in the game which included a super tackle. In the semi-finals where Railways faced off against the home team Rajasthan, the Hawk again was exceptional to keep the home team out of the game, he ended the game with five tackle points in 6 tackles he attempted which turned out to be his best performance of the tournament. In the finals against Services, Pahal was again at his best where he took Railways to their 2nd consecutive title in the senior nationals.
Pahal was at his very best in this tournament and proved why experience plays an important role in Kabaddi and why he is one of the top defenders in the country.
Raju Lal Choudhary: Rajasthan (20 points)
Raju Lal Choudhary was in prime form during the 67th Senior National Kabaddi Championships in Jaipur. He was a local star in Jaipur where the crowd was going crazy whenever he was seen in action. He scored a total of 20 points in a total of five games he played.
Raju Lal had a slow start to his senior nationals campaign where in the first few games he did not attempt many tackles but as the tournament went ahead he was right in the game. In the game against Uttarakhand, he managed to score six tackle points in six tackles attempted and kept Uttarakhand out of the game. In the next game against Kerala Court Direction, he was again on top of his game where stopped Kerala's momentum in the game. His most impactful performance came against Maharashtra in the quarterfinals where he was brilliant by scoring five tackle points in 7 tackles he attempted to help Rajasthan easily beat Maharashtra to make it to the semifinal of the tournament. He was the key who stopped Ajinkya Pawar more than once in the game. The only game he looked a bit off was against Indian Railways in the semifinals where he was able to only score two points in seven attempts.
Overall Raju Lal Choudhary had a successful tournament where he would have caught the eyes of scouts and franchisees for the upcoming season of PKL.