Pro Kabaddi League 2018: The team of the season
The sixth season of the Pro Kabaddi League came to a thrilling end as the Bengaluru Bulls were crowned champions of PKL 6 with a comfortable 38-33 win over the Gujarat Fortunegiants at the DOME@NSCI SVP Stadium in Mumbai.
Pawan Kumar Sehrawat stole the spotlight with some stunning display of ebullient raiding as he single-handedly took the game away from the Gujarat Fortunegiants with 22 raid points to his credit from the finale.
Against two of the best defenders of the league in Sunil Kumar and Parvesh Bhainswal, Sehrawat soaked in the atmosphere as he went about his business in a clinical fashion that also rewarded him with the 'Best Raider of the Season' award.
Yet, in a season studded with top performances, the likes of Pardeep Narwal and debutant Siddharth Desai made their mark while Rahul Chaudhari, Monu Goyat could not live up to expectations.
On the defence front, Nitesh Kumar was the man in focus with 100 tackle points, making him the first man to reach that pedestal while Fazel Atrachali and Vishal Bharadwaj had some positive shows as well. Deepak Niwas Hooda and Ajay Thakur were prolific with their experience coming to the fore but could not see their teams progress into the knockout stages.
Dabang Delhi K.C and UP Yoddha made their debut appearance in the playoffs and while the former's presence in the knockouts was short-lived by a loss against UP, the Rishank Devadiga-led side came up short against the Fortunegiants to skittle out of the tournament.
For the Bengal Warriors, Surjeet Singh was not in the greatest of form while Pune's disastrous season was mostly a result of Nitin Tomar's absence from the mat, owing to an injury that saw him feature in only the first half of the tournament.
In the end, the 138 matches across three and a half months proved to provide some unmatched entertainment as thrilling action across twelve cities in the country played host to the best of kabaddi talent all across the world.
Here, we look at the team of the season based on performances, stats, and impact across the whole season.
Defenders - Nitesh Kumar, Fazel Atrachali, Parvesh Bhainswal, Sunil Kumar
Nitesh Kumar - UP Yoddha
One of the brightest sparks in UP's campaign this season, Nitesh Kumar was a force to reckon with in the right corner. With the trademark ankle hold his primary calling card, Kumar made raiding a living nightmare for the best of raiders, with his 8-point effort against U Mumba a testament of his supreme form in the season. From 25 matches, Kumar finished with a 100 points and eight High-5s.
Fazel Atrachali - U Mumba
The left corner defender was instrumental in many of U Mumba's wins and also led the team extremely well all the way till the second eliminator, a game in which his team, unfortunately, fell short to the UP Yoddha. In 23 matches, Atrachali notched up 83 tackle points with an average of 3.6 points per game, including six 'High-5s'.
Sunil Kumar (C) - Gujarat Fortunegiants
Gujarat's skipper was in good touch all through the season as he formed a potent combination with fellow cover Parvesh Bhainswal and made raiding an arduous task for the best of raiders. Kumar started the season in fine form with 9 points from the first two matches and his best performance came against Jaipur when he picked 8 points in a single game. Kumar finished with 76 points from 25 matches which three 'High-5s'.
Parvesh Bhainswal - Gujarat Fortunegiants
Bhainswal was in top form for Gujarat and briefly led the tackles point table before being de-throned by UP Yoddha's Nitesh Kumar. Bhainswal started slow but soon gathered pace as he picked up six points against Delhi and then notched up three 'High-5s' in a row before a career-best eight points against the Patna Pirates took him to the top of the leaderboard. In 25 matches, Bhainswal picked up 86 tackle points.