The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) has returned after 795 days away and it seems like the players have picked up from where they left off, if not with even more intensity. Operating in a Bio-Bubble in Bengaluru, the league has gotten off to an electric start with several matches in week one finishing with teams separated by just a point or two on the final hooter. While new stars are becoming household names, some old warhorses are struggling to keep up with the pace of play and have already found themselves on the sidelines. Defending Champions Bengal Warriors started in fine fashion and look good early but Dabang Delhi is perhaps the pick of the 12 teams, riding on the Naveen Express’ incredible run of 24 successive Super 10s.
Here’s a look at some of the top Raiders from PKL Season 8 after Week 1:
TOP RAIDERS OF WEEK 1
Week 1 was dominated by some of the biggest names in Kabaddi at the moment as Naveen “Express” Kumar has yet again been Mr. Consistent for Dabang Delhi with successive Super 10s to continue his record-breaking run. When you look at this list of the 7 Top Raiders, only two men are playing in a new team which makes Arjun Deshwal and Ajith Kumar’s efforts seem very special, as they seem to have adapted to their new homes at Jaipur Pink Panthers and U Mumba quite rapidly. Pawan Sehrawat and Maninder have also impressed with each displaying monumental efforts to give us a 7 point and a 6 point raid in the same game.
Some of the biggest disappointments who don’t feature on this Top 7 list are certainly Rohit Kumar, who has looked extremely sluggish, Pardeep “The Record Breaker” Narwal who seems to be moving and turning slower than in previous seasons and Rahul Chaudhari, whose poor decline seems to continue in Pro Kabaddi.
Two names that don’t make this list but have been extremely impressive, are Mohd. Nabibaksh for Bengal Warriors, who has once again showcased his grit in tough situations to support Maninder Singh, and also Monu Goyat who has started the post-Pardeep Narwal era in fine style with his former team, Patna Pirates.
There’s plenty of action in store in the week ahead and we do hope that some of the erstwhile stars of the game can find that lost glory, but we are certainly glad to see a new breed of youngsters take their place in the spotlight in Season 8!
[Featured Image Credit: Naveen Kumar]