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Kabaddi 2019 – highlights

Kabaddi 2019 – highlights

The Pro Kabaddi 2019 season finally came to a conclusion after the Bengal Warriors cruised their way to
their first PKL title. It were a few exciting months of Kabaddi played, with great performances and close
clashes between teams, eventually among which, Bengal prevailed. Bengaluru Bulls entered the semi-
finals after winning the eliminator match, but were however defeated by Dabang Delhi in the first semi-
finals. Likewise, U-Mumba prevailed over the Haryana Steelers in the Eliminator but again, faced defeat
at the hands of Bengal Warriors. The finals were played on the 19 th of October at Ahmedabad, and after
a tight affair, Bengal Warriors were crowned champions of Pro Kabaddi League 2019 after emerging
victorious over Dabang Delhi with score line of 39-34. Let’s have a look at some of the highlights with
respect to every team in this very closely fought tournament.

Bengal Warriors – the underdogs


Talking about the champions, Bengal Warriors, they did not have very good performances in the initial
four seasons of PKL, not managing a single top half finish. Delhi and Bengal were the most consistent
teams in this tournament. One of the main reasons for the Warriors’ success this season was the form of
their star raider, Maninder Singh. The talisman scored 205 points this season, ending up as the fifth best
raider in the tournament. Credit must also be given to them in having stable corners. Left corner Rinku
Narwal and right corner Baldev Singh despite having very less experience scored 131 tackle points
including ten high 5’s. The Warriors will try and retain their best player in Maninder Singh to try and
continue the same form in the next season as well.

U Mumbai – Fighting right


U Mumba has earned a good reputation for themselves over the past years. Having entered three
consecutive finals from 2014-2016, the heavyweights came into this year’s tournament with a relatively
weak squad. However, they still made it to the semi-finals collecting 438 raid points and 233 tackle
points. Mumbai had excellent young talents in Abhishek Singh, Arjun Deshwal and Ajinkya Kapre who
played vital roles in their success this season. Along with them, in Fazel Atrachali and Sandeep Narwal,
they possessed two of the strongest corners in the tournament.

The tale of Delhi


Much like Bengal, Delhi did not once enjoy a successful season in the PKL. However, in terms of
consistency, Dabang Delhi were the best team in the tournament this season, collecting a total of 532
raid points and 222 tackle points. The majority of the credit goes to their new superstar raider Naveen
Kumar who racked up record-breaking figure of 21 consecutive Super 10s this season along with
amassing 303 points. In Ranjit and Vijay, they also possessed excellent supporting raiders. However,
despite having the likes of Ravinder Pahal and Joginder Narwal, their defense was relatively weak this
season.

The Bulls of Bengaluru


Being the defending champions, Bengaluru Bulls started the season with a victory over three times
champions, Patna Pirates. However, since then, they were pretty inconsistent throughout the season.
They had one of the best raiders in the entire tournament – Pawan Sehrawat. He was the most
successful raider of PKL 7, beating Pradeep Narwal by over 50 points. He won 360 points in the
tournament whilst also picking up 18 Super 10’s along the way. The absence of a good supporting raider
was felt by the Bulls, being over reliant on Sehrawat. Another downfall to their season was their brittle
defense as the semi-finalists conceded the most number of points in the tournament with 855.

All the others

After talking about the top four, let’s have a look at the best of the rest. Haryana has had mixed
performances in all the seasons leading up to this year’s edition. The Steelers lost to U-Mumba in the
Eliminators, diminishing their chances of their first ever PKL title. In Vikash Kandola and his partner
Vinay, Haryana had a great attacking raiding pair, amassing 195 and 129 points each. However, their
poor and brittle defense led them down at crucial moments. Another team that lost in the Eliminators
were UP Yodhas, losing to the Bengaluru Bulls. After signing Rishan Devadigga as the captain, the team
started off in a strong manner, although, inconsistent performances meant they didn’t finish as high as
they would have wished. Nitesh Kumar alongside Aashish Nagar and Amit were the bright sparks in
defense for the Yodhas.
Three time winners, Patna Pirates, were expected to make it to the playoffs at least. However, poor and
inconsistent displays meant a below par season for the Pirates. The talisman of the team, Pardeep
Narwal, reached yet another milestone as he became the first player to score 1000 career points in the
Pro Kabaddi League this season. He enjoyed yet another strong season with 304 points, including 15
super 10’s. Although, absence of a good supporting raider and a below par defense led to the downfall
of the team as they couldn’t build any momentum growing into the season. The winners of the first
season of PKL, Jaipur Pink Panthers, enjoyed a strong start to the season, winning 6 of their first seven
matches. Despite this, they couldn’t keep the momentum going as the Pink Panther’s fell 7 points short
of the playoff places. Jaipur were the third-best team for tackle points scored. Sandeep Dhull’s brilliance
helped him end the season with 73 points to his name, the fourth most efficient defender in the
tournament.
There was a lot of talk regarding the Puneri Paltan’s this season, with veteran Anup Kumar beginning his
coaching career with the team, However, they never looked at ease, performing in bits and pieces due
to lack of coordination and recurring injuries. Pune also scored the most tackle points this season,
bagging 264 points under their belt. Tamil Thalaivas, who boasted as many as four players from India’s
World Cup winning team, started he season as strong favorites. Despite having great individual talents,
they failed to deliver as a unit, and the Thalaiva’s finished last in the table with just 37 points. Telugu
Titans, after finishing in the penultimate spot in previous season’s edition, made some big purchases
going into this season. The bought the likes of Siddharth Desai, Vishal Bhardwaj and Abozar Mighani.
However, lack of co-ordination among the latter two meant they only amassed 200 tackle points, third
lowest in the tournament. This was the main reason for the Titans’ downfall, finishing 11th in the table
with just 45 points.
On a whole, this edition of PKL 2019 was full of twists and turns. Whist some teams failed to deliver,
other teams exceeded expectations, with the Bengal Warriors ending as deserved winners. This season
also saw the emergence of various young and exciting players which could be intriguing to watch as we
move on to the next edition of PKL. The emergence of these gems and great performances meant
individuals playing Fantasy Kabaddi Games earned a lot of points in the season gone by. With such a
successful season of PKL now behind us, the next season will be most awaited for with #ApniMittiKaKhel
trending all over the nation.

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