A Look Back At The 70th Senior Kabaddi Nationals Knockouts:
Ashu Malik Leads Haryana To Glory

The 70th edition of the Senior National Kabaddi Championship was held earlier this year, with Haryana beating defending champions Indian Railways 34-31 in a nail-biting finale. A host of big names were in action in the tournament, including Pawan Sehrawat (Chandigarh), Narender (Chandigarh), Aslam Inamdar (Maharashtra), Sunil Kumar (Indian Railways), Surender Gill (Indian Railways), and Arjun Deshwal (Services).

Among all those stars, it was Haryana’s Ashu Malik who stole the show on the biggest stage, scoring 13 raid points in the final to lead his team to victory. Malik had brilliantly stepped up for Dabang Delhi in the absence of Naveen Kumar with a season-high 276 raid points in PKL 10 and delivered when it mattered most for the state here as well.

Malik ended up recording 19 raid points in total over the three knockout games for Haryana, but while he shone in the final, he didn’t end up recording the most points in the knockouts.

While Malik shone in that final, his teammate Nitin Kumar proved to be arguably the best raider of the knockouts. Among players who attempted at least 10 raids, he had the best success rate.

Uttar Pradesh’s Vinay played just one knockout game, which was the quarterfinals against Chandigarh. UP lost that contest 49-43, but Vinay recorded 18 raid points along the way, the most that anyone managed in a single knockout game.

On the defensive front, the Railways had two of their big guns occupy the top two spots for tackle points.

Sumit nearly became the only player to record multiple High 5s in the knockouts but fell just short in the Final. He put up four tackle points against Haryana, as the Railways lost in agonizing fashion.

Sumit wasn’t the one to record the most tackle points in a game, though, as his teammate Thiyagarajan got all seven of his in the quarterfinals against Rajasthan. For all their defensive might, though, the Railways were unable to put the clamps on Malik in the final. His excellence shown through in that game and there’s a good reason why Dabang Delhi are determined to hold on to him.

Featured Pic Credit: Kabaddi Adda

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