Kabaddi is all set to return with a bang this July, and as a precedent to the fifth instalment of the Pro Kabaddi League, the auctions are scheduled to take place on the 22nd and 23rd of May. The new season will feature four new teams in addition to the existing eight and will span across 13 weeks with more than 130 matches to be telecast live on Star Sports.
All-rounders are responsible for staving off raiders and gathering points while also being entrusted with the task of bringing down a prowling raider form a crucial part of the team. A host of these talented players will also go under the hammer and some of the elite ones will definitely fetch the big bucks from the new and old owners alike.
#5 Kuldeep Singh
In an interview from an earlier season, Kuldeep Singh was quoted as saying, "Star Sports Pro Kabaddi gave me a chance to play in front of big celebrities." And well. he optimised that chance to his best advantage in the capacity of a raider, first for the Jaipur Pink Panthers and later on for the Patna Pirates in Season 3 and 4 when the team emerged as champions.
With 82 raid points and 43 tackle points from his 39 matches, Kuldeep Singh makes from an ideal player to feature in the starting seven of the team that opts for him in the forthcoming auctions.
#4 Rajesh Narwal
A live-wire on the kabaddi mat, Rajesh Narwal was primarily famed in kabaddi circles for his defensive prowess, but as the league progressed into subsequent seasons, the player’s raiding skills have also come to the fore. He brought forth balance to the Pink Panthers’ team acting as a cushion in the attack and defense combined.
Having played 60 matches so far in the tournament, Narwal has accumulated a mammoth 266 raid points along with 84 tackle points, thus emerging as one of the best all-rounders of the sport. A Jaipur player since the inception of Pro Kabaddi, It will be exciting to see which team recruits him for the upcoming season!
#3 Sandeep Narwal
A lethal combination of effective raiding and full-proof defense will render Sandeep Narwal as one of the most valuable players in the auctions on Monday. Strong body blocks at one end and frog jump on the rival shore alongside a platter of other key moves have made this man an asset to have in one’s starting line-up.
In the 62 matches that he has features, Narwal has amassed a total of 171 raid points as well as 161 tackle points. In addition to this, he finished as the Best Defender in Season 3 when he won the title with Patna Pirates.
Subsequently, he moved on to the Telugu Titans in Season 4 where he unleashed yet another skill of his, which was captaincy and perfect decision-making in the absence of Rahul Chaudhari. Thus, Sandeep will be an ideal pick for a team looking for someone to lead right from the front and by example.
#2 Rakesh Kumar
Probably the flag bearer of Indian kabaddi when it comes to his achievements, Rakesh who primarily started off as a raider has ventured into more of defense in the recent years of Pro Kabaddi. The Arjuna awardee and 2014 Asian Games gold medalist, has come into his very own at U Mumba, acting as a role model and mentor to the youngsters who play alongside him.
His statistics are just a minor testament to his skills for one can see the real confidence on display when he is playing on the mat. In 45 matches, he has collected over 170 raid points and 58 tackle points, to become the favoured all-rounder of the league.
#1 Manjeet Chhillar
A former wrestler, Manjeet boasts of brute strength and his solo tackles can throw off the mightiest of raiders off the mat. Thus, a key man in the central defense, Manjeet also has the capability to bail his team out of trouble with his rampant raiding as and when it is required.With over 400 points from just 59 matches, Manjeet Chhillar is a player every coach would love to have in his team but dread if he is a part of the opposition. An added benefit with Manjeet is that he can marshall his troop well due to his captaincy abilities, as was evident when he was the in-charge at Bengaluru Bulls and later at Puneri Paltan.