Top five raiders to look forward to in the knockouts of Senior National Kabaddi Championships

The 67th Senior National Kabaddi Championships have moved to the round of knockouts after the completion of all the league matches. The top two teams from eight groups moved to the next round and will be playing the pre-quarters on the 5th of March. 

Raiders have been taking quite a lot of spotlight in the tournament with their amazing skills. The likes of Pardeep Narwal, Naveen Kumar, and Pawan Kumar Sehrawat have become a household name due to their heroics in the Pro Kabaddi matches. They have also helped their domestic teams get past the opponents in the league stages and have been looking in great form.

With these players participating in the national circuit, people have been chanting their names during their matches and encouraging their favorite players. It has been a raiders' show at Jaipur's Poornima University. Let us have a look at the top 5 raiders who we should look forward to in the knockout stages of the tournament:

1. Ram Kumar - Tamil Nadu

Ram Kumar
Ram Kumar stretching toward the mid-line (Pic Courtesy - Pro Kabaddi)

Ram Kumar M has been one of the major reasons for helping Tamil Nadu win all their matches in the league stage. With scores like 9, 7 and 15 in three Group matches, Ram Kumar is one of the top raiders of the tournament. As his team gets ready to face Rahul Chaudhary led Uttar Pradesh in the pre-quarters, Ram Kumar would be looking to score as many points as possible and make it to the quarter-finals.

2. Naveen Kumar - Services

Naveen Kumar
Naveen Kumar Raiding against Punjab

Dabang Delhi's Naveen Kumar gained popularity after his heroics at the Pro Kabaddi Season 7. With his ability to make quick raids and pick up points on the way back home, Naveen was also nicknamed as 'Naveen Express'. His performance has remained the same in this tournament as well and the youngster has managed to pick up quick points during his raid.

He picked up a Super 10 in the opening match against Kerala as he went on to score 16 points from 20 raids. He scored six points against Assam and then again got a Super 10 against Punjab. His excellent form will be a key for the Services team to move to the quarterfinals and further ahead.

3. Pawan Kumar Sehrawat - Indian Railways

Pawan Kumar Sehrawat
Pawan Kumar Sehrawat (Pic Courtesy - Pro Kabaddi)

The top performer of the Pro Kabaddi Season 6, Pawan Sehrawat, is one of the top players for the star-studded Indian Railways team. Alongside Rohit Gulia and Shrikant Jadhav, Pawan acts as the first choice raider for the team. He has scored 8 and 6 points in the two league matches and would surely ruffle some feathers as they face Chandigarh in the next round.

4. Pardeep Narwal - Haryana

Pardeep Narwal in PKL
Pardeep Narwal

The Rakesh Narwal led Haryana team faced a shocking loss in their opening encounter against Tamil Nadu as they lost the match 31-37. Pardeep could not produce a performance to remember in the match and scored only five points from 14 raids. However, the all-time top scorer of Pro Kabaddi bounced back in the next match against Goa and went on to score seven points from 12 raids. 

In the next match, Narwal scored a Super 10 (12 points) and the youngster could be seen coming into the form. The youngster has given nightmares to top defenders in the Pro Kabaddi and would be one player everyone would be keeping an eye on in their next match against Pondicherry.

5. Pankaj Mohite - Maharashtra

Pankaj Mohite
Pankaj Mohite against Himachal Pradesh

The young lad from Maharashtra has been silently making news with his play at various tournaments in the state as well as the country. The Puneri Paltan player is known for his grit and determination on the mat and score points with ease. Playing for Maharashtra at the tournament, Pankaj began the tournament with 11 points in the match against Jammu and Kashmir. In the next match against Manipur, Mohite scored six points.

When Maharashtra played against Himachal Pradesh in their last league match, Pankaj was the highest scorer of the match with eight points. He played a pivotal role in helping Maharashtra defeating the Ajay Thaur led team and get the top spot in the Group.