PKL 2018-19: Pawan Kumar dazzles with Bengaluru Bulls

A superb show from Bengaluru Bulls' Pawan Sehrawat condemned Gujarat Fortunegiants to its second successive final defeat in Pro Kabaddi.

Pawan Sehrawat put on an incredible show, scoring 22 points from 25 raids for Bengaluru Bulls.   -  AP

Pawan Kumar Sehrawat, the standout player in Pro Kabaddi League season six, had also featured in the season five final, played in Chennai.

Minutes after inspiring Bengaluru Bulls to its first title with  22 points in the title clash at the NSCI indoor stadium, he recollected the 2018 experience, where he had represented Gujarat Fortunegiants against Patna Pirates.

READ| Pro Kabaddi 2018: MVP Sehrawat leads Bengaluru to maiden PKL title

“I got to make one raid, got out and did not play any further part. This time, the experience was different,” said the raider, silent on whether the lack of faith from the team management in last season’s final fired him up to go all-out against the same coach, same team when the opportunity arose.

Fortunegiants, coached by Manpreet Singh in season five and six, did not value the raider’s ability quite as much as Bulls coach Randhir Singh has.

Pawan reminisces: “Bengaluru coach (Randhir Singh) visited me in my village during this off-season and told me that he wanted to take me in the Bulls for season six. He worked hard for three months to prepare me for this. The preparation and his confidence in me made the difference.” 

Pawan also credited Bulls’ captain Rohit Kumar for his support. He explained: “Despite being an outstanding raider, he did not stop me from doing a major share of the work, a bulk of the raiding. He always lets me dictate how many raids I want to do, even advises me on how to go about my work. Even when I’ve not performed well, he believed in my abilities.”

Bulls coach Randhir explained the reason behind Pawan's effectiveness. “During a half-time chat with Pawan, I pointed out that the Gujarat cover defenders were holding an advanced stance against him. He made the adjustment from then on and used the freedom to attack.

“I told him not to hold back. I told him and my team that I have won everything there is to win in Kabaddi except the Pro Kabaddi title.”

Pawan’s splendid show in season six included most points ever by an individual in a final (22), most total points by a player (282), most raid points (271). He also managed 209 successful raids, 12 Super Raids and crossed the 10-points mark in a match 13 times this season.

PKL season six individual awards: Perfect raider (Pardeep Narwal), Ace defender (Niesh Kumar), Season's debutant (Siddharth Desai). MVP: (Pawan Kumar Sehrawat).

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