PKL 7 – The Play-off Teams Analysis: What they did right and which areas to improve
Raiding: Led by Naveen and ably supported by Chandran Ranjith, Vijay and the energetic Meraj Sheykh Delhi boast one of the best raiding units of Pro Kabaddi Season 7. Naveen has been phenomenal in PKL 7 scoring 268 raid points. He had a record 20 Super 10s the most by a player in a single Pro Kabaddi Season. Dabang Delhi’s average raid points per match of 21.90 is the best by a team in Pro Kabaddi Season 7.
Corners: Dabang Delhi’s corners led by captain Joginder Narwal and the experienced Ravinder Pahal are the pillars of their defence. Though Ravinder Pahal has blown hot and cold this season, the “Hawk” remains their best bet in the semi-finals and also their best defender this season. Opposite corner Joginder Narwal is also a capable defender using his experience and street smartness to stop the opposition raiders.
What to improve:
Covers: Delhi’s covers are their weakest points this season. Vishal Mane has endured his worst season in PKL failing with 58 of his 84 attempted tackles. The Maharashtra native has attempted needless tackles gifting points to the opposition raiders. Left cover Anil has also struggled this season failing with 51 out of his 83 attempted tackles. The Services defender relies mainly upon the thigh hold which in 7-6 defence gives the left raiders an easy path for bonus. Hence, Dabang Delhi have struggled against left raiders this season.
Strong Raiding: Bengal Warriors boast an enviable raiding trio of Maninder Singh, Prapanjan and Nabibakhsh. Their reserve raiders include Sukesh Hegde, Rakesh Narwal and Saurabh Patil which means if one of their players is not doing well, they have a similar quality raider to replace him. Maninder has been absolutely unstoppable this season scoring 205 raid points at a raid strike rate of 64.46.
Esmaeil Nabibakhsh: All-rounder Esmail Nabibakhsh has been a revelation for the Bengal Warriors contributing with raid and tackle points. The Iranian has scored 78 raid points and 29 tackle points. The fleet footed Iranian has shown impressive versatility to slot anywhere in defence lending balance to the Bengal Warriors defence.
Corners: The corners Baldev and Rinku are young and have developed a good combination. Both have combined for 120 tackle points, among corner combinations only U.P Yoddha’s corners Nitesh and Sumit and U Mumba’s Fazel and Sandeep Narwal have scored more tackle points in this season. They would hope to carry their form in the play-offs of PKL 7.
What to Improve
Covers: Bengal Warriors have struggled with their cover defenders throughout the season. The experienced Jeeva Kumar is enduring his worst ever Pro Kabaddi Season. The 38-year old has failed with 56 of his 87 attempted tackles. Bengal Warriors have also failed to find a permanent solution to their right cover problems having used 4 players in the position with none of them impressing. Mayur Shivtarkar is their best right cover having failed with 23 out of his 30 attempted tackles.
Corner combination: U Mumba boast a fearsome corner combination in the Iranian Fazel Atrachali and right corner Sandeep Narwal. “Sultan” Fazel Atrachali is the best defender in Pro Kabaddi Season 7 with 81 tackle points, while Sandeep Narwal has scored 53 tackle points. Among corner combinations only U.P Yoddha’s corners Nitesh and Sumit have scored more tackle points in Pro Kabaddi Season 7.
Abhishek Singh/Arjun Deshwal: Abhishek Singh and Arjun Deshwal started slowly but have found form at the right time for U Mumba. Abhishek Singh comes into the Pro Kabaddi Season 7 semifinals having scored 6 Super 10s in his last 7 matches. Arjun Deshwal has also impressed having scored 100 raid points at an impressive raid strike rate of 55.86.
What to Improve
Form of Surinder: Surinder has been a vital part of a strong U Mumba defence along with Fazel and Sandeep Narwal. But Surinder has lost form at a worst possible time, in the last 5 matches the right cover has attempted 22 tackles and has succeeded with only 5 of those. Add to the fact U Mumba’s persistent issue with left covers it is more important for Surinder to find form in the semi-finals.
Lack of a match winning raider: Abhishek Singh and Arjun Deshwal have found form at the right time. But unlike their other semi-final opponents U Mumba lack a raider who can single handedly win a match for them – PKL 7 Play-offs. Also, U Mumba’s best raider Abhishek Singh managed just 3 raid points from 11 raids the only time he has met Bengal.
Pawan Sehrawat: Bengaluru Bulls biggest asset is the presence of Pawan Sehrawat in their ranks. The “Highflyer” is capable of single handedly destroying teams. If Pawan gets going there is no stopping him.
Defence: Bengaluru Bulls are the only team who have 3 defenders close to 50 tackle points in Pro Kabaddi Season 7. Left Cover Mahender Singh is Bulls best defender with 58 tackle points, Right corner Saurabh Nandal has 54 tackle points while left corner Amit Sheoran has scored 49 tackle points.
What to Improve
Overreliance on Pawan: While Pawan Sehrawat is capable of winning matches on his own, the fact remains that if he has bad game then the Bulls do not have a raider to revive him quickly and hence the Bulls are likely to find it tough to win a match if Pawan has a bad game.