What has happened to Pawan Kumar Sehrawat this season?
For a raider who had an average tally of one raid point a match in the last two seasons, Sehrawat's form in PKL-6 has been unprecedented. Or rather, a pleasant surprise if you're Bengaluru Bulls. The 22-year-old has an incredible average of 15 raid points a match this season.
To give a little more context, Sehrawat had played nine matches and scored a total of just 10 points in Season 5. In Season 4, he played 10 matches and scored a total of 11 points. In Season 3 in 2016, his debut season and his previous-best season, he had 53 points in 13 matches. Cut to 2018 and he now has 62 points in, believe it or not, four matches.
No one saw that coming and, so, now no one has a plan to tackle him.
On Wednesday, in a match against Haryana Steelers, who are led by Monu Goyat (the most expensive player in PKL history), Sehrawat was in full flow -- again -- leaving the opponents with no answers whatsoever. Take this: Sehrawat alone executed 20 of the 29 raid points in the Bulls' 42-34 win, with an astonishing raid strike rate of 100%.
Sehrawat is neither your quintessential stylish raider like U Mumba's Siddharth Desai nor is he the most graceful like Ajay Thakur. He isn't even the tallest of raiders who could gain an added advantage on the mat because of their height, a la Rahul Chaudhari. His style of play is rustic, very desi. Yes, he will attempt running hand touches, but mostly he will just follow his instincts and jump, roll, dive and find his way to the mid-line. It is almost as if that's all he sees.
In one of his Super Raids in the match, Sehrawat was up against six players from the Steelers. Two of them were holding hands to form a chain, standing right in front of him. The strategy was set: Block him the moment he attempts to get a touch. Now if only strategies worked against him. Street-smart to the core, Sehrawat attempted the dubki (dive), ducking below the chain to move past the defence, unaffected even as another defender tried an ankle-hold on him. Yes, tried is the keyword there.
Proving to be the major difference-maker for the Zone B topping team so far, Sehrawat has just started. Whether he'll remain unstoppable, is something PKL fans can look forward to. Also, can we just have a Sehrawat-Desai show-off already?