Pardeep Narwal chasing a childhood passion

Narwal, who took up the sport at a young age, said no one in his village played anything except Kabaddi.

Narwal's 94 points in this year's Pro Kabaddi League not only make him the top raider, but also the player with most number of points.   -  Special Arrangement

With eyes like a hawk and movements like a leopard, Pardeep Narwal has garnered 94 points for Patna Pirates so far and is comfortably perched atop the list of leading raiders in the Pro Kabaddi League this season.

Hailing from Rindhana village of Sonepat district in Haryana, the 20-year-old has shouldered the responsibility of leading his side by setting examples. His impressive show has been the most important reason behind the good run of Patna, which was second before the start of the Kolkata leg and now placed third with 28 points.

Narwal, who got inspired by his uncle to play kabaddi, said he was perhaps born for the game. “My uncle used to play kabaddi for Army. After watching him, I took it up from an early age. Everybody in my village plays kabaddi, we don’t play any other game. So I had to play kabaddi,” Narwal told Sportstar on Monday.

In eight matches, Narwal has made 78 successful and 35 unsuccessful raids out of a total of 166. His 94 points not only make him the top raider, but also the player with most number of points.

Personally, Narwal may be inching towards a milestone of scoring 100 points but he is more concerned about the recent fluctuations in his team’s fortunes. “We have not been able to maintain the momentum (after winning the first three matches). We can do much better.”

Talk about his raiding skills, Narwal, a thorough team man, tries to play it down. “It depends on our coach’s decision. I just execute whatever he plans for the team.

“On the mat, while raiding, I keep a watch on every opponent and decide what to do on the spot.”

As Patna readies to play its next match, an inter-zone challenge match against Jaipur Pink Panthers at the Netaji Indoor Stadium here on Tuesday, Narwal hopes that his side will be back on the winning track.