Pardeep Narwal was dominant as ever but season 6 of the PKL will be remembered for the emergence of Pawan Kumar Sehrawat, Siddharth Sirish Desai and Nitesh Kumar. Here's our team of the tournament from the three-month long season.
Pawan Kumar Sehrawat (Lead Raider/left in, Bengaluru Bulls)
282 points in 24 matches
Most points, most raid points, most successful raids, most super 10s (10 points in a match), you name it and Sehrawat owned the record. When Bengaluru Bulls splashed upwards of Rs. 50 lakh on him at the auction, most observers were left scratching their heads but Sehrawat more than repaid the faith shown in him by another Sehrawat - coach Randhir Singh - by taking his team all the way to the title. In the process, he set a record for the most points (22) scored by a player in the final.
Pardeep Narwal (Second raider, Patna Pirates)
233 points in 21 matches
Pardeep blew hot and cold this season but when on song, he was simply unstoppable as he almost took his team to the playoffs singlehandedly. He was in the top two for the most points scored for the fourth year in a row, showing his remarkable consistency in the competition where he remains king.
Siddharth Sirish Desai (Third raider/right in, U Mumba)
221 points in 21 matches
Quickest to 50, 100, 150 and 200 points in PKL history, Desai was easily the most impactful debutant in the history of the PKL. While he tended to lose steam in the second half, his barnstorming starts normally put daylight between Mumba and their opponents in the first half itself. His all-action style and core strength proved a handful for defenders and only Sehrawat scored more super raids (a raid where the raider gets more than two points) than him this season.
Nitesh Kumar (right corner, UP Yoddha)
101 points in 25 matches
The right corner position has been a massive headache for India ever since Mohit Chhillar lost form and Dharmaraj Cheralathan slowed down. In Nitesh, they finally have an answer. No team's defence was as reliant on one player as UP's was on Nitesh, but he thrived on the pressure by becoming the first defender in PKL history to score 100 tackle points in a single season.
Sunil Kumar (right cover, Gujarat Fortunegiants)
76 points in 25 matches
The only player to make the starting seven in our team of the tournament for the second year in a row apart from Pardeep, Sunil was mightily impressive in his captaincy debut, leading his team to the final. His partnership with Parvesh Bhainswal was spectacular again as his ankle holds and double-thigh holds continued to pose problems for the raiders. He was guilty of being overambitious in the final but was never short of ideas or initiative through the tournament.
Parvesh Bhainswal (left cover, Gujarat Fortunegiants)
86 points in 25 matches
With the Fortunegiants choosing to let go of the experienced Iranian duo of Fazel Atrachali and Abozar Mighani, Bhainswal had to assume greater responsibility as the main defender by virtue of his experience. Only Nitesh had more successful tackles and tackle points than Bhainswal, whose versatility also allowed him to play as left corner or right cover when the situation demanded in an inexperienced Fortunegiants defence.
Fazel Atrachali (left corner, U Mumba)
83 points in 23 matches
One of the two most consistent defenders (the other being Surender Nada) over the last few seasons of the PKL, Atrachali was crucial to Mumba's turnaround this season as the former champions managed to make the playoffs again after missing out in the last two seasons. Atrachali's solid ankle holds and calm presence helped the younger Surender Singh flourish in the Mumba defence.
Substitutes: Ajay Thakur (204 points), Maninder Singh (206 points), Deepak Niwas Hooda (208 points), Surender Singh (62 points) and Vishal Bhardwaj (60 points).