Pro Kabaddi 2019 in numbers: After defensive start to league, raiders picked pace closer to playoffs
The defenders were able to contain the star raiders at the start of the Pro Kabaddi 2019 season. But as the league stage went on, the raiders caught up in dominance.
Defensive players started the Pro Kabaddi 2019 season better than the raiders
Raiders have since caught up with the defenders in terms of points accumulation
Pawan Sehrawat of Bengaluru Bulls was the star raider during the league stage with 308 points
Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) has been about finding the right balance between raiders and defenders. Traditionally, raiders are the more coveted players in a team — much like batsmen in cricket and strikers in football. The big money during the auction for the seventh edition was spent on the attacking options. Siddharth Desai (Rs 1.45 crore), Nitin Tomar (Rs 1.2 crore), Rahul Chaudhary (Rs 94 lakhs) and Monu Goyat (Rs 93 lakhs) were the top four most expensive buys and all of them are raiders. But when it comes to events on the mat, it is the defenders who started off better in Pro Kabaddi 2019.
|Avg tackle points||After 44 matches||After 88 matches||After 132 matches|
The league season can be divided into three parts — after 44 matches (four legs), after 88 matches (eight legs) and 132 matches (after 12 legs or complete league phase). This is followed by the playoffs where the qualifying teams play a reduced number of matches for the title.
In the fifth season, the average tackle points were 18.1, 18.2 and 18.5 across three parts of the league stage. Next season, in PKL 6, it was 19.7, 20.2 and 19.85 — thus implying a better start than previous but dying down as the playoffs drew closer. This season, however, the average tackle points have been 20.4, 20.2 and 20.3. Defenders, in general, started better than previous two editions. After eight legs of competition, the level was maintained as the previous edition but picked ever so slightly this time around.
|Avg Raid points||After 44 matches||After 88 matches||After 132 matches|
A quick look at how the raiders fared shows gradual increases as the season played along. In the fifth season, average raid points read 31.3, 35 and 36.08 after 44, 88 and 132 matches respectively. The next season, the attackers got going in tremendous form with 40.2 average raid points before it dipped to 37.8 and 38.52 respectively. This season, the raiders have been contained by the defenders for the most part. But as the season progressed, the balance has once again tipped in favour of the attackers. At the start, average raid points stood at 31.9 and have since progressed to 34.6 and 38.5.
Among the raiders, Pawan Sehrawat of Bengaluru Bulls has been well ahead of the rest and could well finish the season as the top raider. He picked 308 raid points during the league stage of the season. Equally influential in attack has been Pardeep Narwal with 302 points. But with Patna Pirates unable to make the playoffs, he wouldn't be able to make an impact on the leaderboard. Narwal chipped in with a staggering 68 percent of the team's points with the next best being Jang Kun Lee (60 points) and Mohammad Esmaeil (39 points).
Another mismatch in a single team was seen with Siddharth Desai, the most expensive buy in the auction, accumulating 217 points. After the highs of debut last season, he has contributed almost the same but not enough to steer Telugu Titans forward. After Desai, Rakesh Gowda is the raider with most raid points for Titans — 50 points. Disappointingly for the team, no one has an average raid points beyond 5.0.
|Teams||Matches||Raid points||Tackle points|
|PKL 5||PKL 6||PKL 7||PKL 5||PKL 6||PKL 7|
|Jaipur Pink Panthers||22||353||415||385||171||225||240|
Moving to the defensive side of things. U Mumba captain Fazel Atrachali accounted for the most tackle points in the league stage with 78 points. Sumit and Nitesh Kumar of UP Yoddha came close behind with 75 and 70 points respectively. Jaipur Pink Panthers' Sandeep Dhull and Puneri Paltan's Surjeet Singh rounded off the top five with 73 and 63 points respectively. Vishal Bhardwaj of Telugu Titans played fewer games (19) but was quite impressive with the average tackle points of 3.26 albeit behind the likes of Atrachali, Sumit and Dhull.
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