Ever since its inception in 2014, the Pro Kabaddi League has made a habit of creating new household sporting names across the country. From Anup Kumar & Rahul Chaudhary in the early seasons to Pardeep Narwal, Pawan Sehrawat and Naveen Kumar most recently, the Sport’s stars are now names etched in sports fans minds in India and the world.
In Season 8, things are no different and the sport has become about the youngsters taking their opportunity in the spotlight and making a name for themselves. With tournaments like the K7 churning our young talent, it’s no surprise that debutants like Aslam Inamdar, Meetu, and Rakesh Sangroya have come in red hot in their debut seasons. Today at Man’s Life, with a little data support from our friends at www.KabaddiAdda.com we bring you the Top 5 Debutant Raiders at Pro Kabaddi this season.
5. BHARAT NARESH (Bengaluru Bulls): 10 Matches – 60 raids – 35 raid points
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The Bengaluru Bulls have ridden on the individual brilliance of Pawan Sehrawat for a while in Pro Kabaddi but Season 8 has seen some support in the form of Chandran Ranjit and the tall, lanky debutant Bharat Naresh. Bharat was identified by Coach Sehrawat after a run of big points in the K7 Stage Up Tournament, scoring 72 points in just 5 games for Deepak Niwas Hooda’s academy and has translated that form into his debut season at Pro Kabaddi, scoring multi-point raids on many occasions when the Bulls have needed it most. Bharat is still building in confidence but has scored 35 points so far at an impressive raid strike rate of 65% and supported Pawan effectively along the way.
4. MOHIT GOYAT (Puneri Paltan): 9 Matches – 108 raids – 48 raid points
Puneri Paltan might have their struggles as a unit in Season 8, but their investment in young talent might just pay off in the long run with the likes of Mohit Goyat and Aslam Inamdar impressing for the franchise. Mohit Goyat was identified by Coach Anup Kumar after a fine run of form leading up to the Pro Kabaddi auction, scoring 179 raid points in just 13 matches at the K7 Stage Up tournament by Kabaddi Adda. He has repaid the faith by doing a great job in his debut season of PKL scoring 48 raid points over his first 9 matches and also scoring his maiden Super 10 in a winning cause vs the Gujarat Giants. A young man who carries speed and agility, Goyat certainly has a bright future in the sport ahead.
3. MEETU (Haryana Steelers): 11 Matches – 152 raids – 58 points
One of the most in-demand young men and talked about debutants ahead of the PKL auction, Meetu has translated his potential into points in his inaugural campaign of Pro Kabaddi. Perhaps the biggest star at the recently concluded K7 Stage Up, Meetu scored 85 points in just 5 matches from 115 raids and over his first 5 games in Pro Kabaddi, scored an impressive 33 points with 2 Super 10s and even outshined Vikash Kandola along the way. Unfortunately, his form seems to have tapered off a little since, scoring just 25 points from his next 6 games but we are certain that the young man will come back into his own under the guidance of the legendary Rakesh Kumar as Coach as the Haryana Steelers.
2. ASLAM INAMDAR (Puneri Paltan): 11 Matches – 150 raids – 74 raid points
Puneri Paltan’s investment in young talent has been evident over the years but Aslam Inamdar could just be the bright spark that could make that grand plan come to life and pay rich dividends. Athletic build, jack-in-the-box relentless energy and a true firecracker on court, this young man wants to be thrown into the big moments and more often than not comes away with points too. The fact that he can also contribute defensively is the icing on the cake and will ensure that he is an asset for any side for a long time to come. Identified by the Yuva Paltan programme, Puneri Paltan will hope that he is one of many young men that will make a smooth transition to the senior squad.
1. RAKESH SANGROYA (Gujarat Giants): 10 Matches – 162 raids – 79 raid points
Not many would have expected Rakesh Sangroya to be the most impressive debutant raider halfway through Pro Kabaddi Season 8 but under Coach Manpreet Singh, this young man has flourished and has emerged as the leading raider of the two-time runners up. One of 23 players to emerge from the K7 Stage Up Tournament, Rakesh has 3 Super 10s in his first 10 matches and has gotten better with every match. Impressively built, an average of 7.9 raid points and shouldering the responsibility of the entire side in his first season, this is a man worth keeping an eye on.
[Featured Image Credit: Pro Kabaddi]