An alternative kabaddi lineup - 1 raider, 6 defenders
Kabaddi is a funny game. While the excitement surrounding a raid is unrivalled, a hard-hitting tackle is always a pleasure to watch. This season, more often than not, the defenders have been put under the spotlight.
Compared to last season, the scoring hasn’t really been free flowing for a large number of teams. This comes down to the efficiency with which teams are defending their territory. That coupled with the fact that almost every team has that one raider that the side banks upon to deliver game after game. Taking all this into account, we ask the question – Would it be pragmatic to field a single efficient raider and six defenders in the starting seven?
Statistics may not always be a good way to gauge performances, but numbers don’t lie. Rahul Chaudhari has been the most ruthless and efficient raider this season. With 65 raid points to his name, he sits at the top of the raiding table. On an average, he makes just over five successful raids per match.
These numbers look far more impressive when you consider the fact that only three players in the entire league have managed to make more than five successful raids in each game. So a starting seven of Rahul Chaudhari and six talented defenders doesn’t really seem farfetched at this point.
The players manning the defence
Coming to the six defenders, Rahul’s left hand, 18-year-old Sandeep would be the obvious first choice. While not much is known about the youngster, the little that we do know is just a Google search away. Knock yourself out. U Mumba’s Jeeva Kumar looks like another perfect fit for this team. Expect the diminutive tackler to be the lynchpin in this side’s defensive expeditions. With five super tackles to his name, Nilesh Shinde from the Bengaluru Bulls would be the ideal man in the far right position.
U Mumba’s, Mohit Chillar will be the fourth defender in this all-star line-up. The agile 20-year-old is like a hunter on the prowl and would complement the other robust defenders pretty well. Dabang Delhi’s, Ravinder Pahal seems to be fighting a lone battle as his team languishes in fifth position. With a successful tackling percentage of 64, Ravinder would be the ideal fit in the centre of this ultra defensive line-up. Having won the best defender award, six times in eight matches, his inclusion is certainly not debatable.
Completing the squad will be Joginder Narwal from the Bangalore Bulls. This season, the veteran has manned his side of the defense with an iron fist and looks irreplaceable for his team. It would be interesting to say the least, when these seven players grace the mat.