Season seven of the Pro Kabaddi League is set to commence from July 20th this year. Twelve teams are set to clash for close to three months before the winner of this edition will be declared at the end of the summit clash on 19th October.
Like the last few seasons, the battle to steal the honors of the 'most successful raider of the season' will be interesting in the upcoming season too. The likes of Ajay Thakur, Rahul Chaudhari, and Pardeep Narwal have dominated this category in the past while season 6 saw the dominance of Pawan Sehrawat.
While these players will yet again be in contention in the upcoming season, other stars such as Siddharth Desai, Nitin Tomar, and Monu Goyat will also be itching to make their presence felt.
However, Pardeep Narwal and Rahul Chaudhari would still be the favorites to bag the trophy for the most raid points at the end of the season. Both these players have been compared innumerable times in the past and ahead of season 7, discussions have already started around which of these two would end up with most points after the season.
However, Pardeep Narwal could be backed to finish higher than Rahul Chaudhari.
Pardeep had yet another stellar campaign in season 6. However, it was a one-sided effort from the player and hence, Patna Pirates were not able to add on to their 3 PKL trophies. On the other hand, Rahul Chaudhari had an off-color season and this might have been one of the reasons why he was not retained by Telugu Titans.
However, both these players will be playing in different team atmospheres in season 7 and let us now analyze who could be the more successful of the two.
Despite scoring 166 points last season, it was considered as an underwhelming campaign for Rahul Chaudhari. Probably, the criticism for the veteran had to do a lot with his lack of impact on Telugu Titans' performance in the season.
Having failed to do well, the franchise might have decided to rethink their strategy for season 7 and this involved letting go of their superstar.
Pardeep averages 10.09 raid points per match, Rahul averages 8.25.
When one takes a quick look at the overall statistics, Rahul Chaudhari is at the top of the table with 876 total points from 100 matches, while Pardeep Narwal has 865 points from 85 matches.
With just 11 points separating the two superstars, the seventh season could see some extra pressure on Rahul Chaudhari's shoulders to keep his position at the helm.
This season though, Rahul Chaudhari will be playing in a team of superstars. He is unlikely to be under any kind of pressure as the likes of Ajay Thakur and Manjeet Chhillar would be in the team to support Rahul in tough situations.
This would help Rahul to get back his lost confidence on the mat. Obviously, this will help him score higher points in the upcoming season. However, it has to be noted that Ajay Thakur would still be the No.1 raider of the team and hence, Rahul's share of raids could decrease.
On the other hand, Pardeep Narwal had yet another stellar campaign in season 6. He scored a whopping 233 raid points last season which included 15 Super 10's and six 'Super Raids'. However, since it was a one-sided effort from Pardeep last season, his team failed to continue their title-winning streak last season.
Jang Kun Lee and Mohammad Maghsodlou will join Pardeep as the raiders in the team for season 7. Both these overseas players are top-class raiders which could reduce the burden on Pardeep's shoulders.
Hence, the Haryana man could be given the license to go for the kill in almost every match. That would make him all the more dangerous and we could expect yet another season which could be dominated by the Patna captain.
Most importantly, Pardeep is younger than Rahul and despite being in the league for many years now, the defenders have been unable to cut down the effectiveness of Pardeep.
Hence, it could be expected that Pardeep would finish higher than Rahul in the list of players with the highest total points at the end of the upcoming season.
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