These players will light up the upcoming season.
Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8 will begin on 22nd December 2021. The season promises to bring back electrifying kabaddi action to the mat with all 12 teams keeping their eyes firmly fixed on the prestigious trophy.
Defenders are often found hunting in pairs on the mat as timely coordination between them can take down raiders of any calibre. Hence, teams look to sign top-quality defenders in their squad who can form a good partnership and work together throughout the season.
In this article, we take a look at five defensive combinations to watch out for in Pro Kabaddi League Season 8.
5. Baldev Singh and Vishal Bhardwaj (Puneri Paltan)
Baldev Singh will join forces with Vishal Bhardwaj to lead the corner defence for Puneri Paltan. Singh was the top scorer in PKL 7. He played for champions Bengal Warriors with 66 tackle points and six High-5s. Vishal Bhardwaj, who was Telugu Titans’ ace left corner in the past four seasons of Pro Kabaddi League, will aim for a fresh start in orange colours. Both defenders have played together for Himachal Pradesh in the domestic circuit and will hope to show the same grit and resolve in Season 8.
4. Abozar Mighani and Rinku Narwal (Bengal Warriors)
Abozar Mighani has been a mainstay in PKL since his debut for Gujarat Giants in Season 5. The right corner defender is only 40 tackle points shy of becoming the second overseas player in the league to cross 200 tackle points. He will team up with Rinku Narwal who was Bengal Warriors’ second-best defender in Season 7. Both of them are known for their ability to capitalise on the mistakes made by the opposition raiders. The defending champions will bank upon this duo in their quest of winning a second trophy on the trot.
3. Nitesh Kumar and Sumit Sangwan (U.P. Yoddha)
U.P. Yoddha chose to retain their corner defenders Nitesh Kumar and Sumit Sangwan in the Season 8 Player Auction. Nitesh Kumar, who scored a century of tackle points in Season 6, finished with 75 tackle points last season. Sumit won the ‘Best Debutant’ award as the second-best defender of PKL 7 with 77 tackle points and seven High-5s. Both will hope to repeat their heroics as these youngsters will be seen leading the franchise in the defence once again.
2. Ravinder Pahal and Girish Ernak (Gujarat Giants)
‘The Hawk’ Ravinder Pahal was Gujarat Giants’ most expensive buy at ₹74 lakh in this year’s auction. Pahal, who is the second-best defender in vivo Pro Kabaddi history with 326 tackle points, played a vital role in taking Dabang Delhi K.C. to their maiden final last season. Girish Maruti Ernak will aim to bounce back after a mediocre campaign in Pro Kabaddi League Season 7. However, his numbers speak for themselves as the Maharashtrian left corner has amassed 262 tackle points in his career. Both of these corners, along with the cover duo of Sunil-Parvesh, can take Gujarat Giants to greater heights in Season 8.
1. Sandeep Narwal and Joginder Narwal (Dabang Delhi K.C.)
Dabang Delhi K.C. have bolstered their defence with experienced corner defenders in Sandeep Narwal and Joginder Narwal. Sandeep has been one of the most feared right corners in vivo Pro Kabaddi League, known for his body blocks and waist holds. He could provide handy support to the veteran Joginder Narwal, who has led the team to two consecutive playoffs. Given their stronghold on the mat, this duo can be instrumental in Dabang Delhi K.C.’s defensive success in Season 8.