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PKL 2019: Top 5 defenders of this season 

Fazel Atrachali decimated the opposition raiders in PKL 2019
Fazel Atrachali decimated the opposition raiders in PKL 2019
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Vinay Chhabria

The 2019 edition of the Pro Kabaddi 2019 ended with Bengal Warriors defeating Dabang Delhi K.C. to win their maiden PKL trophy at the EKA Arena in Ahmedabad last Saturday. With this win, Bengal have now joined Jaipur Pink Panthers, U Mumba, Patna Pirates and Bengaluru Bulls in the elite list of teams who have won the PKL championship.

The raiders dominated the defenders by a large margin this season as the fans witnessed a plethora of high-scoring matches in PKL 2019. The likes of Pawan Sehrawat, Naveen Kumar, Pardeep Narwal, Vikash Kandola, Siddharth Desai and Maninder Singh gave nightmares to the defenders. However, there were a few defenders who managed to trouble these raiders.

Unlike the previous season, no defender could touch the triple-figure mark in the tackle points department, but there were 19 defenders who scored 50 or more tackle points this year.

Here are the top 5 defenders of PKL 2019 -


#5 Baldev Singh, Bengal Warriors

Baldev Singh played at the right corner position for Bengal Warriors
Baldev Singh played at the right corner position for Bengal Warriors

Matches - 24, Tackle Points - 66, High 5s - 6

Bengal Warriors had raised a few eyebrows by announcing Baldev Singh as one of the retained elite players ahead of the PKL 2019 auction. However, he silenced all his critics with a stellar performance in the defensive unit of Bengal.

He played a vital role in his team's success as he formed a lethal partnership with Rinku Narwal to destroy the opposition raiders. Singh scored 66 tackle points this season with 6 High 5s. His not out percentage of 85.71% shows how tough it was for the raiders to get the better of him. Also, his tackle strike rate improved from 39% in PKL 2018 to 55% in PKL 2019.

#4 Sandeep Kumar Dhull, Jaipur Pink Panthers

Sandeep Dhull played at the left corner position for Jaipur Pink Panthers
Sandeep Dhull played at the left corner position for Jaipur Pink Panthers

Matches - 22, Tackle Points - 74, High 5s - 5

The left corner defender of Jaipur Pink Panthers, Sandeep Dhull played exceptionally well in the first half of the 2019 season. Dhull's success was the reason behind Jaipur's stay in the top 6 for the better part of the tournament. However, he lost his touch as the season progressed. This led to Jaipur Pink Panthers' exit and Dhull too eventually lost his number 1 position in the 'Most Tackle Points' list.

He finished the season with 74 tackle points despite not being at his best in the last few matches. Nevertheless, the fans enjoyed watching the beautiful tackles of Sandeep Dhull.


#3 Nitesh Kumar, U.P. Yoddha

Nitesh Kumar led his team from the front
Nitesh Kumar led his team from the front

Matches - 23, Tackle Points - 75, High 5s - 6

U.P. Yoddha had assigned the captaincy of their team to Nitesh Kumar earlier this season after the right corner defender had scored a century of tackle points in Season 6. Leading the Lucknow-based franchise from the front, the new skipper scored 75 tackle points this season.

His 6 High 5s played a major role in helping U.P. Yoddha secure the third position on the points table. Also, his tackle strike rate of 61.47% was one of the best this season for a regular defender.

#2 Sumit, U.P. Yoddha

Sumit's ankle holds troubled the opposition raiders
Sumit's ankle holds troubled the opposition raiders

Matches - 22, Tackle Points - 77, High 5s - 7

Playing his debut season in the PKL after being drafted into the U.P. Yoddha squad as a part of the New Young Players program, Sumit showed no nerves while playing at the left corner position. The youngster outshone his captain in the defensive department as he scored two tackle points more than Nitesh Kumar despite playing one match lesser than him.

Though he had a habit of scoring High 5s regularly, Sumit could not convert his High 5s into a grand performance. This is the only area where the coaching staff of U.P. Yoddha will have to work on.


#1 Fazel Atrachali, U Mumba

Fazel Atrachali toyed with the raiders in PKL 2019
Fazel Atrachali toyed with the raiders in PKL 2019

Matches - 24, Tackle Points - 82, High 5s - 4

The skipper of U Mumba, Fazel Atrachali maintained his consistent form in the PKL by producing yet another magnificent performance on the kabaddi mat. The Iranian defender scalped 82 tackle points in PKL 2019 to emerge as the only defender to surpass the 80 tackle points milestone this season.

His not out percentage of 93% and tackle strike rate of 60.74% demonstrate how viciously he tackled the raiders in PKL 2019. Though he could not inspire U Mumba to the title this year, Atrachali will look to come back stronger in PKL 2020.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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