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Ultimate Kho Kho 2022: Team of the Tournament

Odisha Juggernauts clinched the coveted trophy, edging past the Yoddhas by a solitary point.
Odisha Juggernauts clinched the coveted trophy, edging past the Yoddhas by a solitary point.

Odisha Juggernauts clinched the title in the inaugural edition of Ultimate Kho Kho on September 4, defeating Telugu Yoddhas by just a point.

As the sport of kho kho received a complete revamp, some players found it hard to adapt while others enjoyed the change in the rules and scoring system. Although the game was made more attack-centric, it was perhaps the manner in which the teams defended that decided the outcome of the contest.

While the attackers initially bossed proceedings, we were treated to some fantastic defending towards the business end of the tournament, with the likes of Durvesh Salunke and Akshay Ganpule creating some new records.

There were many impressive performances throughout the season, even from teams that did not qualify. Individual displays of brilliance were richly rewarded and the teams certainly would have taken note of them going into the next edition of Ultimate Kho Kho.

On that note, here is a look at the team of the tournament:

#1 Ramji Kashyap

Drum Rolls πŸ₯πŸ₯πŸ₯πŸ₯πŸ₯πŸ₯πŸ₯πŸ₯Phenomenal All-round performances throughout the season mean that @ChnQuickGuns' 🌟, Ramji Kashyap is the first ever #UltimateKhoKho Player of the Tournament πŸ‘#UltimateFinal #IndiaMaarChalaang #AbKhoHoga #KhoKho https://t.co/iSUKkawmAq

Team of the Tournament excluding Ramji Kashyap just cannot be fathomed. The Player of the Tournament winner did it all for the Chennai Quick Guns. Although he perhaps did not get off to the best of starts, Kashyap played a massive role in Quick Guns' qualification. Kashyap finished with 108 attacking points and a stellar 21:48 minutes of defending time, the highest in the tournament in each category.

#2 Majahar Jamadar

The only player that even got close to challenging Kashyap for the numero uno spot in the highest attack-point getter list was Majahar Jamadar. Although the Warriors' campaign was nothing to write home about, Majahar's performances will certainly be a huge positive. He garnered 105 points in the tournament and finished as the second-highest attack-point scorer.

#3 Arun Gunki

Telugu Yoddhas' all-rounder Arun Gunki had a breakthrough season. Finishing as the runners-up of the tournament, Yoddhas had quite a terrific campaign and Gunki's performances played a massive role. Gunki finished in the league with 96 attacking points, the third-highest in the entire tournament.

#4 Abhinandan Patil (Wazir)

How to beat Abhinandan Patil? 🧐Can't. He's π€π–π„π’πŽπŒπ„ 🀩Presenting the #UltimateKhoKho Attacker of the Tournament πŸ’ͺ#IndiaMaarChalaang #AbKhoHoga #KhoKho https://t.co/mdsghMub0y

Attacker of the Tournament, Abhinandan Patil's performances were ones to behold. With streaks of blue in his hair, Patil went about his business in an aggressive manner, finishing as the best Wazir of the tournament with 89 attacking points. Apart from this, Patil had a defending time of 13:16 minutes and made some useful contributions in that department as well.

#5 Durvesh Salunke (Wazir)

Durvesh Salunke will go down as one of the better Wazirs this season. While the other Mumbai Khiladis failed around him, Salunke was often seen going the extra mile and playing his heart out despite it being for a losing cause. His determination and coolness on the mat were superb. Salunke finished with 74 attacking points in the tournament, the second-best figures for a Wazir, with a defending time of 13:56 minutes which often came in crunch situations.

#6 Suraj Lande

The sky dive from Suraj Lande that helped the Juggernauts win the tournament.
The sky dive from Suraj Lande that helped the Juggernauts win the tournament.

Playing 10 games for the Juggernauts, Suraj Lande was an out-and-out attacker. Famous for his sky dives near the central lane, Lande managed to collect 82 points over the course of the edition. Although he couldn't make much of a mark in the defense, he made up for it with his contributions while attacking. Coincidentally, it was Lande whose sky dive in the final few seconds of the match resulted in the Juggernauts being crowned champions with a 1-point win.

#7 Deepak Madhav

Deepak Madhav evades an attempted touch from Avik Singha.
Deepak Madhav evades an attempted touch from Avik Singha.

Deepak Madhav, the second-best defender in the league, was simply swashbuckling in the manner with which he went about his defending. With a defending time of 20:23 minutes, Madhav evaded the defenders smartly. Being swift on his feet, the 27-year old Railways player did not make a contribition in the attack but his defending was one of the reasons why Yoddhas made it to the final.

#8 Pratik Waikar (Captain)

Pratik Waikar took over the captaincy from Prajwal by the end of the tournament and led the team brilliantly. The Eklavya Award winner was the third-best defender of the tournament, finishing with a defending time of 20:13 minutes apart from chipping in with 55 attacking points.

#9 Aniket Pote

Aniket Pote was perhaps the first to become a household name after he stole the show in the curtain-raiser of the tournament. With a style of defending that teases and frustrates the attackers, Pote won the hearts of many on the first night itself. Although listed as an attacker, Pote's defensive prowess was on display in the tournament. With 55 attacking points and 15:53 minutes of defending time, Pote's all-round contributions certainly went a long way in helping the Giants secure a playoff spot.

#10 Dilip Khandavi

Attacker of the MatchπŸ‘‰ Arun GunkiDefender of the MatchπŸ‘‰ Dilip KhandaviUltimate Kho of the MatchπŸ‘‰ VishalAn absolutely scintillating #UltimateFinal ends with the post-match awards being shared between the teamsπŸ‘ #OJvTY #UltimateKhoKho #IndiaMaarChalaang #AbKhoHoga #KhoKho https://t.co/AhCdQa8WxV

Short in height but large in stature, Dilip Khandavi set the mat on fire for the Juggernauts. The 20-year old played a massive part in the Juggernauts' title win, having been adjudged as the Defender of the Match in the summit clash. Khandavi certainly has a bright future and will be a star to look out for in the upcoming edition of Ultimate Kho Kho.

#11 Akshay Ganpule

Akshay Ganpule was one of the better defenders of the season, finishing with 16:47 minutes as his defending time. Playing for the Warriors, who did not have a great season, Akshay emerged as one of their most reliable defenders.

#12 Suyash Gargate

Suyash Gargate was one of the best all-rounders in Season 1 of Ultimate Kho Kho. Donning the Gujarat Giants' blue, Gargate formed a formidable trio with skipper Ranjan Shetty and Aniket Pote to form what was perhaps the most lethal batch of defenders any team could face. With a defending time of 15:09 minutes and 73 attacking points, Gargate completes the playing 12 of the Team of the Tournament.

Substitutes:

#1 Hrushikesh Murchavade (Wazir)

Hrushikesh Murchavade as seen in a practice session.
Hrushikesh Murchavade as seen in a practice session.

While perhaps everything seemed to go wrong for the Rajasthan Warriors, they had a ray of hope in their Wazir, Hrushikesh Murchavade, who finished as the third-best Wazir of the tournament. While Murchavade's efforts often went in vain, his duo with skipper Majahar Jamadar will go down as one of the best in Ultimate Kho Kho.

#2 Sreejesh S

One of the most charismatic players of the tournament, Sreejesh S found himself without much support in a dwindling Mumbai Khiladis side. However, he put in some terrific performances over the course of the season with 75 attacking points and 17:35 minutes defending time - impressive stats for an all-rounder.

#3 Madan

Mashhoor Madan ke Sky Dives ki kahani ho gayi 😍Young Gun from Chennai Quick Guns, Madan is the #UltimateKhoKho Young Player of the Tournament πŸ‘#UltimateFinal #IndiaMaarChalaang #AbKhoHoga #KhoKho https://t.co/LZX7I22MpP

Madan was awarded the Young Player of the Tournament for his exceptional performances as the Wazir for the Chennai Quick Guns. Despite managing just 46 points in the attacking department, Madan also had a defending time of 12:36 minutes, helping the Quick Guns in desperate times. His calmness on the mat was certainly one of the biggest factors in his terrific performances.

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Edited by Neelay Yadav
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