Since PKL’s inception we have seen the emergence of new stars in every season. PKL 6 was arguably the most fruitful year for the debutants as several debutants took the PKL like duck to water made considerable impact for their respective teams. 3 raiders and 2 corners are our picks to have made the maximum impact amongst the debutants.
Siddharth Desai: After the auctions U Mumba were expected to struggle in their raiding department with the likes of Rohit Baliyan, Vinod Kumar, Abolfazl Maghsoudou and Darshan Kadian in their PKL careers had proved that they were good enough to be support raiders and not someone who could score Super 10s consistently, it didn’t matter in the end as the tall and lanky Siddharth Desai stepped up wonderfully to lead U Mumba’s raiding department. The Pune native bamboozled defences with his back and running kicks while his power while escaping was unrivalled in PKL leading him to be named as the best debutant of PKL 6. The 27-year old was the biggest factor in U Mumba making the play-offs after 2 seasons and his below par performance in the Qualifier where he managed 7 raid points was the reason in U Mumba’s defeat. However, after scoring 218 raid points in 21 matches including 12 Super 10s and 10 Super Raids 2nd only to Pawan Sehrawat, Siddharth Desai has highlighted himself as one of the stars of PKL.
Naveen Kumar: Young Naveen Kumar proved to be a sensation for Dabang Delhi leading their raiding department scoring 172 raid points, the most by a Delhi player in PKL 6. The 18-year old was one of the big reasons for Dabang Delhi making their first ever play-offs in PKL history. Not since Rahul Chaudhari in PKL 1 has a teenaged raider made such an impact in PKL. Naveen’s biggest asset is his quick footwork and the ability to lure defences into making mistakes. He is quick on the mat and possesses a deadly running hand touch. The Haryana native is expected to better his PKL 6 performances and once again lead Dabang Delhi’s raiding department.
Manjeet: Many eyebrows were raised went Patna Pirates decided to splash out 37 lakhs on the rather unknown Manjeet. The tall and lanky raider impressed Patna Pirates coach Ram Mehar Singh sufficiently who trusted him to start all of Patna Pirates matches ahead of experienced PKL raiders like Deepak Narwal, Tushar Patil and Surender Singh “Bhola”. The 19-year old proved his worth scoring 87 raid points including 2 Super 10s. His raid points are more commendable given that he was mostly used in Do or Die raids or in a difficult situation where the opposition had 5 and 4 defenders on the mat where he used his speed and reach to score points.
Amit Sheoran: The left corner was surprisingly overlooked at the start of the season with the Bulls instead preferring to use Jawahar Vivek and Sandeep ahead of him, with both of them disappointing Bengaluru Bulls coach Randhir Singh turned to Amit Sheoran and the young left corner didn’t disappoint producing a number of consistent displays leading to a maiden title win for the Bulls. His impact can be gauged by the fact that since his introduction in the starting 7 Bulls went from being a defensively suspect team to a team with one of the strongest defences in the league. The left corner floored raiders with vice like ankle holds and ended up scoring 38 tackle points from just 15 matches including 2 High 5s.
Ruturaj Koravi: Ruturaj Koravi was hailed as the next best thing after his exploits in the National Domestic tournaments and the right corner was duly snapped up by Gujarat Fortune Giants for 30 lakhs. The 24-year old didn’t disappoint putting in a number of excellent displays in Gujarat’s run to the finals. The powerful defender has all the attributes to become one of the future stars of PKL with his dive and chain tackles especially potent weapons to floor the raiders. Though Ruturaj didn’t quite maintain the consistency for the whole campaign he still ended the campaign with a more than respectable 47 tackle points.