Pro Kabaddi League always had the best defenders on display with the likes of Dharmaraj Cheralathan, Bajirao Hegde, Nilesh Shinde and many more. PKL 9 has some promising names and a few names which made it big last season.
Known for their brute strength, superhuman strength and absolute rock-solid ankle hold, defenders make the game of Kabaddi more intense and fun to watch.
Here we look at top defenders from PKL 9 to look out for:
Mohammadreza Chiyaneh (Patna Pirates)
The man from Iran came as an unknown entity but made the corner spot his own, floored the best of the raiders and clinched the spot of the top defender. It was a no-brainer for Patna Pirates to retain their best player from last season.
With the same defensive unit, he was part of last season, Chiyaneh will look to repeat his heroics from last season. Although teams will be prepared for him this season, it will be interesting to see what he has in his kitty for fans.
Sagar Rathee (Tamil Thalaivas)
In a forgettable season for Tamil Thalaivas last season, the only bright spot was the emergence of Sagar as the bankable right corner. Tamil Thalaivas retained Sagar and will bank on him to lead the defence this season.
Sagar scored 82 points last season in 22 games and finished just below Md Chiyaneh. He also featured as joint-second and second in the leaderboard for Super Tackles (8) and High 5s (8) respectively.
Saurabh Nandal (Bengaluru Bulls)
Rewarded with one of the leadership roles, Saurabh has been part of Bengaluru Bulls since 2017 and has been a rock-solid presence in their defence.
With a career tackle success rate of 50%, Saurabh Nandal will lead the defence of Bengaluru Bulls along with his defensive partner and Captain Mahender Singh.
Jaideep (Haryana Steelers)
One of the finds of last season, Jaideep was brilliant for Haryana Steelers in season 8.
The left cover was a mystery for the opposition raiders to unravel and not many attackers managed to get the better of him. He scored 66 tackle points for the Steelers and was unsurprisingly retained by the franchise.
Jaideep will look to replicate his performance from last season and repay the trust shown by Haryana Steelers in him.
Sumit (UP Yoddhas)
One half of the dangerous defensive duo of UP Yoddhas along with skipper Nitesh Kumar, Sumit is an aggressive but clinical defender. Starting his career with Yoddhas in 2017, Sumit has cemented his place in the team with consistent performances.
Sumit will be one of the major factors in UP Yoddhas maiden title pursuit.