Kabaddi, like any team sport, is a combination of attack and defence working in tandem throughout the course of the match as one teams looks to beat the other with a superior strategy. That involves players executing a lot of moves from their repertoire of skillsets to score points and get one up on their opponents - something that is widely seen in the PKL.
Since the inception of the PKL in 2014, we have seen a lot of players execute a wide variety of moves on the mat to entertain the audience. The strength and agility deployed by players to score points is something that the viewers are always in awe of. Some of the moves are quick, electric ones signifying speed and agility whereas others are an epitome of of brute strength and power.
In this article, we take a look at five moves that have been widely used by defenders in the PKL and the players who have executed them to near perfection.
Five moves widely used by PKL defenders
#1 Ankle Hold
One of the most popular defensive moves in the game, the ankle hold is an extremely difficult skill to master for any defender. It requires the right combination of timing and strength to single handedly stop a raider in his tracks and allow fellow defenders to pounce and get a point for the team.
The grip is key to a successful ankle hold as it helps a defender pull back a raider into the former's half and prevent him from escaping by twisting his ankle. The ankle hold is the go-to defensive move for corner defenders, left or right.
Surender Nada is considered to be one of the best executioner of this move in the current crop of PKL players, having made his mark in the league with this solid move.
Some of the other PKL defenders who have also done well with their ankle-holds are veterans like Joginder Narwal (Dabang Delhi KC) and Dharmaraj Cheralathan (Haryana Steelers). Young PKL defenders like Sandeep Dhull (Jaipur Pink Panthers), Sumit Sangwan (UP Yoddha), Saurabh Nandal (Bengaluru Bulls) and Sunil (Haryana Steelers) have looked promising with their ankle holds and will surely develop further.
Block is a defensive move which is a true representative of the 'Brute' strenth of the players. It involves a defender getting in a raider's path after he has attempted a touch or kick and stopping him from getting towards the midline.
It is the move usually deployed by the sturdy cover defenders who are well-built and have a top-heavy physique. They use their upper body strength to stop raiders in their tracks as their defence shows up in support to lock down a tackle point.
Manjeet Chhillar (Tamil Thalaivas), Jeeva Kumar (Bengal Warriors) and Vishal Mane (Dabang Delhi KC) are some of the most notable names that have used the block skill to great use in the PKL over the years.
Some other honourable mentions are Sunil Kumar and Parvesh Bhainswal of Gujarat Fortunegiants and Surinder Singh of U Mumba who have had success with their blocks in recent PKL seasons.
#3 Double Thigh Hold
The double thigh hold is a variation of the thigh-hold tackle where a defender drops down and attacks both the legs of a raider and trapping him on the spot. This tackle is a high risk move and needs the right timing along with a sturdy grip to hold the raider and not allow him a chance to escape.
When executed to perfection, this is one of the most aesthetically pleasing tackle moves as it blocks the legs of a raider and roots him to the spot.
Ravinder Pahal is perhaps the most famous proponent of this tackle in PKL history, earning the moniker of 'The Hawk' for his ability to trap raiders. Some other defenders who have had success with this move in the PKL are Nitesh Kumar (UP Yoddha), Amit Hooda (Jaipur Pink Panthers) and Parvesh Bhainswal (Gujarat Fortunegiants).
The Dash tackle is a high performance tackle where the cover or corner defender rushes in with full speed to take a raider out of the mat from the side lobby. It is a tackle that is usually a follow-up after the raider has made his touch or bonus attempt at any of the corners.
The opposite corner or the cover defender charges in on the raider after the raider has made his attempt at scoring a point. This tackle requires a significant amount of coordination between defenders to be executed with the right timing otherwise the raider can anticipate the move and escape with a dodge.
Surjeet Singh (Puneri Paltan), Manjeet Chhillar (Tamil Thalaivas), Girish Ernak (Puneri Paltan), Surinder Singh (U Mumba) and Rohit Rana are some players who have had considerable success with this move in the PKL.
#5 Back Hold
The last tackling move in this list is the Back Hold that involves the brute strength aspect of a Kabaddi defender. Back hold, as the name indicates, is a tackling manouevre where a defender wraps his arms around a raider's waist and tries to hold him down to get a tackle point for his team.
It is generally executed by either of the corner defenders who pounce on the raider as he turns away after making his attempt at a raid point. As soon as the corner has the raider locked, his fellow defenders provide the necessary support to lock a tackle point for their team.
Fazel Atrachali (U Mumba), Joginder Narwal (Dabang Delhi KC) and Baldev Singh (Bengal Warriors) are some of the best executors of this lethal tackling move in the PKL.