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We Look at big names who failed to perform according to their potential and let their teams down
Ajay Thakur: The “Iceman” had a memorable personal year winning the Padmashree Award and the Arjuna award, but team honors continued to elude him. Tamil Thalaivas endured another disappointing campaign finishing last in Pro Kabaddi Season 7 despite possessing one of the most star-studded teams in Pro Kabaddi history. The 33-year old endured a forgettable campaign scoring just 58 raid points in 13 matches at a raid strike rate of 33.91% which was his worst season in Pro Kabaddi history. Ajay was regularly caught in 3 and 2 defence which meant Tamil Thalaivas failed to inflict all-out and also gave 2 tackle points to the opposition.
Vikas Kale: The 31-year old was expected to replicate his fine Nationals form with Haryana Steelers and make a strong combination with left corner Cheralathan. The strongly built defender was expected to solve Haryana Steelers historically weak right cover position. Disappointingly for Steelers Kale was not even half the player he was at the Nationals continuously making ill-advised tackles which put his team in trouble repeatedly. The Right Cover’s tally of 80 failed tackles was the most by a cover defender in PKL 7 which further highlights his dismal campaign. Kale had some bright moments, but his poor moments overshadowed those, and he will be keen to forget the 11 failed tackles he had against Pawan Sehrawat in 1 match.
Sachin: Young Sachin was expected to lead Gujarat Fortune Giants in PKL 7 after two brilliant seasons in which he led Gujarat Fortune Giants run to the final. He was duly retained by Fortune Giants ahead of Pro Kabaddi Season 7. Unfortunately for the Fortune Giants Sachin struggled with his form and was a shadow of his former self. The 21- year old managed to score just 84 raid points at an average of just around 5 raid points per match which was a major factor in Gujarat Fortune Giants failing to make the play-offs for the first time in their history.
Girish Ernak: Puneri Paltan Captain for Pro Kabaddi Season 6 Girish Ernak was another star who endured a disappointing Pro Kabaddi Season 7. The left corner alongside Surjeet was expected to lead Puneri Paltan’s defence in PKL 7, but the Maharashtra native struggled for consistency and made naïve errors repeatedly. He ended the campaign with 34 tackle points at an average of 1.82 tackle points per match his worst in any Pro Kabaddi campaign. To make matters worse he was also dropped in favour of Sagar Krishna highlighting his loss of form.