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The Pro Kabaddi League phenom named Pawan Sehrawat

Is Pawan Sehrawat unstoppable?
Is Pawan Sehrawat unstoppable?
EXPERT COLUMNIST
Modified 09 Jul 2020, 14:36 IST
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In the first week of October 2019, the Bengaluru Bulls were taking on the Haryana Steelers in an important clash, with a win for the Bulls certain to book them a spot in the PKL 2019 playoffs.

That is a match which will be remembered for a long time as Pawan Kumar Sehrawat was an embodiment of a runaway express train, finishing with a whopping total of 39 points in a titanic exhibition of top-class raiding.

It's no surprise that Pawan Sehrawat considers cricket superstar AB de Villiers as his favourite cricketer for on that day, the Bulls' youngster pulled out all the stops and produced an assortment of skills to steamroll the Steelers unit.

The Haryana Steelers' defensive unit was left gasping for the slightest breath of fresh air, with the Bengaluru Bulls raider stopping at nothing to pile up points in a rush.

It took all of 13 minutes for the PKL superstar to get to a Super 10, and at the end of the first half, Pawan Sehrawat had blazed away to 18 points, which equaled the tally the entire Steelers outfit could put up in the first 20 minutes.

While the Bulls' fans were celebrating another masterclass, there was still a lot more to come.

Pawan Sehrawat single-handedly blows away the Steelers' defence

The second half began with a semblance of normalcy, with Prashanth Kumar Rai troubling the defenders, while Pawan Sehrawat continued his aggressive approach and picked up points at will.

With 10 minutes left on the clock, the Steelers were trailing the Bulls by 10 points, and the home fans' hopes were still hanging by a thread. That too, only until a Super Raid from Pawan Sehrawat sent Sunil, Kuldeep Singh and Vikas Kale gingerly jogging off to the benches.

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With a relatively huge 13-point lead in the kitty, Bulls coach Randhir Singh Sehrawat was sporting a wide smile on his face and quickly waved his arms around, suggesting the defenders to stay back and avoid any advanced tackles.

That's exactly what the defending champions' raiders did, holding back and allowing the Steelers' raiders to contend with free bonus points.

One point per raid was going to get the Steelers nowhere close to the Bulls, and Randhir Singh knew that. The Bulls' coach hinged his bets on Pawan Sehrawat scoring at least one point with each raid from then on. And, his trusted ward did not disappoint.

Sitting diagonally opposite to Randhir Singh was legendary Indian kabaddi player Rakesh Kumar, who looked bereft of ideas to put a halt on Pawan Sehrawat's form on that day.

Perhaps, fond memories of his own raiding masterclasses flashed in front of his eyes. But, throughout those 40-45 minutes, Rakesh Kumar was just a mere spectator as Pawan Sehrawat unleashed his myriad set of tricks.

Pawan Sehrawat breaks Pardeep Narwal's record, with the Patna Pirates star watching from the stands

Pawan Sehrawat
Pawan Sehrawat's jumps, dubkis and swift hand touches were too hot to handle for the Steelers
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With five minutes left on the clock, hope soon turned into disbelief both on the faces of the Steelers' faithful and team coach Rakesh Kumar as Pawan Sehrawat now had a new target in his mind - to smash Pardeep Narwal's record of 34 points in one PKL match.

With four and a half minutes remaining on the clock, Pawan Sehrawat raced across to the right corner where Ravi Kumar was caught napping, resulting in an easy touch point to draw level on 34 points.

Less than a minute later, the Bulls' star slid under an attempted thigh hold from Kuldeep Singh to roll over the mid-line and collect his 35th point of the game.

And, as the narrative would have it, all the cameras soon panned to Pardeep Narwal, who could only sport a wide grin and tug on his well-groomed beard as he was now only second best.

Second best to one man, a phenom in the Pro Kabaddi League world who went by the name of Pawan Sehrawat.

And yet, despite breaking a long-standing record and ensuring his team had a lead big enough to pocket the match, he did not stop there. Pawan Sehrawat collected five more points to his name and finished with 39 raid points from 38 raids.

What's fascinating about his scintillating show was that it included just one unsuccessful raid and one empty raid. Additionally, he single-handedly outscored the entire Steelers team, who picked up just 36 points from that encounter.

Even for a superstar of Pawan Sehrawat's caliber, his 39-point performance was nothing short of inhuman.

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Over the many seasons of the Pro Kabaddi League, the competition has been garnished by jaw-dropping tackles, crafty dubkis, gravity-defying jumps with youngsters and experienced stars earning a livelihood through their exploits in the tournament.

As for the case of Pawan Sehrawat, his phenomenal performances have elevated him to the levels of some of the game's greats such as Ajay Thakur and Anup Kumar among others.

Celebrating his 24th birthday today, albeit amidst the lockdown situation, one can expect Pawan Sehrawat to produce roaring performaces on the mat once PKL returns post the novel coronavirus pandemic.

For one thing's for sure, Pawan Sehrawat is a phenomenal player, and once he gets the engine running, there's nothing that can stop him.

Published 09 Jul 2020, 14:36 IST
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