These attackers had a sensational campaign with their respective sides.
Raiding is a thing of beauty in Kabbadi. It is a reminder of the rules of the jungle. One predator enters the evil den hunting for victims to feast on. Over the course of the Pro Kabaddi League seasons, raiders have become an important asset to acquire. Raiders have often singlehandedly pushed teams to victory. Franchises and fans trust in the deliverance of the raiders and have placed utmost trust in them to deliver.
Let’s take a look at the top raiders who pushed their teams ahead with exceptional performances on the opposition end in Season 7.
5. Maninder Singh
The 30-year old could easily have topped this list, if he hadn’t gotten himself injured towards the end of season 7. He was a key player for the Bengal Warriors as he pushed them to the second spot on the table. His inspiring presence on the sidelines helped the Warriors clinch their first ever PKL title.
Maninder was named as the captain for the Warriors for Season 7. He started the season brightly, pushing the Warriors into contention from an early stage. Maninder registered nine points in a 48-17 win against UP Yoddha before following it up with a 14 point performance against Puneri Paltan. He registered 10 Super 10s during the course of the season. His 205 raid points were good for fifth in the league as the Warriors finished behind Dabang Delhi in the league phase. Despite the absence of Maninder, the Kolkata-based franchise won both their knockout games to win Season 7.
4. Siddarth Desai
With the departure of talisman Rahul Chaudhari, the Telugu Titans were on the lookout for a new franchise figurehead. In came Siddarth Sirish Desai, who had become a crowd favourite at U Mumba after pushing the team to the playoffs in his first season. He took over from his impressive form in Season 6. Siddarth scored seven points in an inspired victory over Gujarat Fortunegiants. He continued to impress fans despite the faltering performance of Titans.
Titans dropped to a disappointing 11th place despite amazing performances from Desai’s end. Desai was fourth in the league in raid points (217) and total points (220) and had 10 Super 10s. Despite the low finish, Siddarth Desai’s performance would be highly motivating for the Hyderabad-based side. They would be heading to the eighth season with hopes of achieving their first ever title led by the 29-year-old from Maharashtra.
3. Naveen Kumar
The first player born in the 2000s to be featured in the league, Naveen Kumar is everything you want in a raider. Consistent, elusive, composed, slippery and quick on his feet, Naveen has established himself as the cornerstone of the Dabang Delhi KC franchise. His most eye-popping statistic is the 22 Super 10s he achieved in just 23 matches. His performances were vital for the Delhi-based side as they finished on top of the league with 85 points.
Naveen had 303 total points, good for third in the league and was adjudged the MVP of season 7 of the Pro-Kabbadi League. After qualifying for the playoff, he scored 15 points as the Dabang Delhi beat Bengaluru Bulls 44-38 in the semis. However, despite his 18 points, Delhi slipped against the Bengal Warriors in the final. In two seasons, Naveen has vaulted himself into one of the top raiders in the league. He would be looking to continue his form once season 8 begins.
2. Pardeep Narwal
The Chubki King is no stranger to leading the raiding statistics. What is surprising is that he is second in the list. Pardeep Narwal is an icon in the Bihar-based outfit. He led the team to a hat-trick of Pro Kabaddi League titles (seasons 3, 4 and 5) and entered season 7 with an aim to add a fourth. The captain pushed hard, scoring 10 points in their first match against the Bulls before adding seven more against the Telugu Titans.
He was second in the league in Raid Points (304) and third in Super 10s (15). Despite his performances, the Pirates only managed to finish eighth missing out on the playoffs by a wide margin of 14 points. A fully rested and rejuvenated Narwal would be a scary affair for defenders. As season 8 approaches, Pardeep will be looking to push the Pirates into the playoffs once again and win the fourth title for Patna.
1. Pawan Kumar Sehrawat
Although not as young as Naveen, Pawan Kumar Sehrawat is another budding star of the league. After three seasons spent in mediocrity, Pawan upped his game in season 6 to win the title for his Bulls and the MVP for himself. He maintained his trajectory by producing a stellar season 7 as well, notching the highest amount of points (360) as well as 13 super Raids and 18 Super 10s. During the league phase, Pawan scored 39 points in a match against the Haryana Steelers. The 39-point performance was the most ever points scored by a raider in Pro Kabaddi League history.
The Bulls finished sixth behind his performances and qualified for the playoffs. He scored 20 points to eliminate the UP Yoddhas and set up a semifinal tie against Dabang Delhi. His match-high 18 points went in vain as Naveen Kumar and co moved to the finals.
Pawan is pushing hard to chase Pardeep Narwal and his records while simultaneously being chased by Naveen Kumar as well. Season 8 would be a crucial setting for the intense rivalry between the top raiders.