Defenders are an integral part of any Kabaddi team as they make sure that the points earned by the raiders are not leaked easily and that the team stays ahead in the match. Today, we are going to have a look at the top-5 defenders ever in Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) history.
1. Fazel Atrachali – Fazel Atrachali, also known by the name Sultan, has been the best foreign player ever in the history of the Pro Kabaddi League. He has set the PKL stage on fire many times. This Iranian player has not only been the best foreign defender but even the best defender in the PKL history books. He started his Pro Kabaddi League journey in the second season of the league when played for U Mumba. He continued his journey with U Mumba for the next season where he had a much more important role to play than the previous season. In the fourth season, he was picked by the Patna Pirates, and then in the next season, he again changed his team to Gujarat Giants. In the sixth season of the Pro Kabaddi League, he was again bought by U Mumba and they made him the captain. He played three seasons with U Mumba but was not able to carry the team to the trophy. Then, in the ongoing season, he was picked by the Puneri Paltan at the auction and has been captaining their team and leading the defense department of the team from the front. In PKL history, he has collected a total of 421 tackle points in just 145 matches, having an excellent average of 2.90 tackle points every match.
2. Manjeet Chhillar – Manjeet Chhillar has been PKL’s top Indian defender and second-best overall. He has earned a total of 391 tackle points in the league in 132 matches that he has played. He has an average of 2.96 tackle points per match, just ahead of the top defender ever in PKL history. Manjeet started his PKL career in Season 1 of the league where he captained Bengaluru Bulls and was the Defender of the tournament. In the second season, he led Bengaluru Bulls all the way to the final but was not able to make them win. He then changed teams and went to Puneri Paltan as captain for Seasons 3 and 4. In Season 5, he joined Jaipur Pink Panthers, again as a captain. He didn’t have a very good season there and was released by them. In Season 6, he moved to Tamil Thalaivas and had a great season but the team didn’t do well. He continued there for another season before playing for Dabang Delhi K.C. in Season 8. He led Delhi to the trophy this time. After the conclusion of Season 8, he retired from PKL and joined the Telugu Titans camp as an assistant coach.
3. Sandeep Narwal – Hailing from Sonipat, Haryana Sandeep Narwal started his Pro Kabaddi League career in Season 1 of the league with Patna Pirates. He captained them in Season 2 and even led them to the semi-finals of the tournament. He stayed with them for another season but then went to Puneri Paltan in Season 4. He played for Puneri Paltan for the next three seasons, till Season 6 of the Pro Kabaddi League but was not able to add much value to his team’s progress. He shifted his PKL career to U Mumba the next season, the 7th season. In the 8th season, he again changed his team to Dabang Delhi K.C. and was successful in winning the trophy there. He supported Manjeet very well in the defense in the previous season. In Season 9, he was bought by U.P. Yoddhas but was not able to do much. He has been PKL’s third-best defender after two legends of the game Kabaddi. Sandeep Narwal has scored a total of 360 tackle points in 156 matches that he has played in the Pro Kabaddi League.
4. Girish Maruti Ernak – This Left Cover defender having the signature move of Dash has been one of the finest defenders ever in the Pro Kabaddi League. He has performed consistently over the years and shown everybody what he is capable of. He has a total of 359 tackle points in 143 matches that he has played in the Pro Kabaddi League. He started his PKL journey with Patna Pirates in Season 1 of the Pro Kabaddi League. He played for them for another season before getting released. He was then bought by the Bengal Warriors in Season 3, where he led the defense department of Bengal. He continued with Bengal Warriors for another season but was then released. In the Season 5 auction, he was picked by Puneri Paltan and stayed there for the next three seasons 5, 6, and 7. After three years at Puneri Paltan, he was released and went to Gujarat Giants for one season. In the ongoing season, he played for Bengal Warriors, his previous team, and scored 51 tackle points in 18 matches that he played.
5. Surjeet Singh – Surjeet Singh, one of the best Right Cover defenders ever in PKL history, began his PKL career for Puneri Paltan in Season 3 of the marquee league. He had a decent season but was released by Puneri Paltan. He then played for U Mumba in Season 4 and was among the top 10 defenders of that season. In Season 5, he was bought by the Bengal Warriors for a whopping 73 lakhs and was announced as the team’s captain for that season. He finished Season 5 with 76 tackle points, just 4 points behind the season’s best defender. He played another season for Bengal Warriors before moving to Puneri Paltan in Season 7. He was released by them after that season and played the next one for Tamil Thalaivas. In the current season of the Pro Kabaddi League, he played for Telugu Titans who finished last on the points table for the second consecutive season. He has been a PKL legend over the years and has a total of 348 tackle points in 127 PKL matches. He also holds the record for the most number of high-5s ever in PKL history (29).