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Player equation behind Dabang Delhi's successs: Pahal

After a lacklustre five seasons in the cash-rich Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), Dabang Delhi stunned everyone by entering the playoffs last season.
Player equation behind Dabang Delhi's successs: Pahal

And the Joginder Narwal-led side has started the seventh season from where they left last year. After three wins from four games and 16 points in their kitty, Delhi are currently leading the 12-team points table and the team's most dependable defender Ravinder Pahal (right-corner) believes that it is the understanding between the players which has helped the team achieve success.

Pahal also feels that Joginder's experience has been beneficial for the team apart from the good show by 20-year-old raider Naveen Kumar. Naveen led in raid points for Delhi in season 6 and currently sits at the top of the table when it comes to overall points (42).

Speaking to over phone, Pahal said that Delhi players have full faith in each other and that is the reason the team is doing well again in the league.

Praising Naveen, he said: "In coming times, he (Naveen) is going to be the No. 1 raider for Delhi. The coach has worked a lot on him. In the practice sessions, he used to raid everyday against our defenders. So, we have polished him a lot and are getting good results because of that."

Pahal, who specialises in the thigh hold at the right corner, is currently the second defender in the overall points table in all seasons and has 266 tackle points from 92 matches. Sitting at the top is Tamil Thalaivas all-rounder Manjeet Chhillar who has 317 tackle points so far. Pahal said that he aims to overtake Manjeet.

"Today I am at the second position (in overall defenders' leader board). So, while going on the mat, my mindset is that I have to be the No. 1 defender and then there are the home matches where I will try to do my best and will hope to surpass Manjeet, who is a very good friend of mine," Pahal said.

The experienced defender was also all praise for their foreign players such as Saeid Ghaffari and Meraj Sheykh from Iran and said that they have delivered their best whenever it mattered.

"Iranian players are very quick to give support during defence and they practice a lot accordingly. We gave Saeid chance because our previous left cover Anil Kumar had an injury and he played really well in combination with Vishal Mane. We saw a lot of difference because of him in the last match," Pahal said.

Not only the defence, the raiding department, which doesn't have a lot of experience apart from Meraj who is also an all-rounder, has been performing well with Naveen and Chandran Ranjith leading the charge since the last edition of the league.

Naveen has also come up with some power-packed performance in the current season, collecting 31 raid points from three matches.

Speaking on his team's target this season, Pahal said: "Making the playoffs is a must. After that our target is to play the semifinals, which is very important as the final is in the hands of god. If we look at our team right now, it seems that we are going to reach semifinals this time."

(Kaushik Kumar can be contacted at kaushik.k@.in)

( With inputs from IANS )

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