The Patna Pirates completed their home leg of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 7 on Friday, winning their sole match after three losses.
Here are ESPN's Power Rankings from the third leg of the season:
#10 Ajay Thakur
Raider, Tamil Thalaivas
The Thalaivas aren't doing too well at the moment. But they aren't doing particularly bad either. They've registered two wins, two losses and a tie. Perhaps more importantly, they're already in a better place than they were at the same stage last season, when they had one win and four losses after five games. Part of the credit for that goes to captain Ajay Thakur. He has just 20 points from five games, but one of those came at a crucial moment as he pulled off a buzzer-beating raid to earn his team the tie. It isn't the first time Thakur has been responsible for a last-gasp win or tie, either.
#9 Rahul Chaudhari
Raider, Tamil Thalaivas
Another reason for the Thalaivas' improved showing so far this season is Chaudhari, who was acquired, presumably, to make the team less of a one-man show. Although it's still very early in the season, Chaudhari does seem to be having a positive effect. He had a greater number of unsuccessful and empty raids than he would have liked against UP, but he did score 14 points in the win against Haryana Steelers.
#8 Amit Kumar
Raider, Puneri Paltan
After going winless in their first three games, the Paltan won their first match of the season, a somewhat surprising 41-20 domination of Patna. They then beat Gujarat to maintain a perfect record in Patna. Much of the credit for those wins goes to relatively unknown raider Amit Kumar. Amit scored nine points against Patna, even outperforming Pardeep Narwal on the day, and then scored six points in the tight win over Gujarat.
#7 Girish Maruti Ernak
Defender, Puneri Paltan
Girish Maruti Ernak is one of the most experienced defenders in the league, having played in the PKL since the first season. He has been the mainstay of the Paltan's defence since Season 5 and it was his tackle points that made the difference against Gujarat. Against Patna, his defending helped the Paltan further dominate the match.
#6 K Prapanjan
Raider, Bengal Warriors
Prapanjan, along with debutant Iranian Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh, have provided good raiding support to captain Maninder Singh so far. Bengal may have felt a tad unlucky that a reasonably balanced team performance was negated by the sheer brilliance of Pawan Kumar Sehrawat and that they lost a tight match 43-42. Prapanjan scored 12 points in that match and played a crucial role in the next, pulling off a three-point raid to help Bengal win a tight match, 32-30.
#5 Baldev Singh
Defender, Bengal Warriors
A bigger reason for why Bengal got one win and one loss, rather than two losses, in Patna was thanks to their defence, especially Baldev Singh. He consistently troubled U Mumba's defenders and, in attempting the 100th tackle of his PKL career, scored his third High 5 (five or more tackle points in a game) of the season. He is the third-best defender this season in terms of average tackle points per game.
#4 Naveen Kumar
Raider, Dabaang Delhi
Dabang Delhi's best raider of last season continues to lead the way for his team in this edition. Although he no longer leads the list of most raid points and total points, Naveen has impressed with his consistency for his team. He scored 12 points in Delhi's only match in Patna, a 35-24 win over Jaipur. The performance helped Delhi hand Jaipur their first loss of the season and, more importantly, gave them a place at the top of the table.
#3 Sandeep Dhull
Defender, Jaipur Pink Panthers
Along with captain Deepak Niwas Hooda's raiding, Sandeep's defending has been key to the success of Jaipur so far. Dhull was excellent in Jaipur's win over Patna in the first match of the leg, but had a bad night in the loss to Dabang Delhi. Dhull is a big part of why Jaipur are currently second on the points table.
#2 Pardeep Narwal
Raider, Patna Pirates
Even as Pardeep continues to do well individually, as he always does, Patna have had a poor home leg, losing three of their four games. One of the reasons for this is the lack of consistent scoring from the rest of the players. Jang Kun Lee, whose purchase was seen as a way to solidify support for Pardeep, hasn't made much of an impact so far. Still, Pardeep's individual brilliance finally paid off in the 41-20 win over UP Yoddha. In addition, he became the first player in the league to score 900 raid points.
#1 Pawan Kumar Sehrawat
Raider, Bengaluru Bulls
Going into Bengaluru's first match in Patna, against Bengal Warriors, Pawan had 28 points from three games - sedate by the standards one has come to expect from him after Season 6. Then, he exploded into form. Pawan scored 29 points - the third-highest individual score in a match in the league's history - to help his team overturn an 11-point deficit. That Bengaluru still only won by a single point, with four of the remaining six starters managing 10 points together, further underscores the team's dependence on him.
Pawan then turned in a 17-point effort in the win against Telugu Titans. Unsurprisingly, Pawan is now top of the scoring charts by some distance. Bengaluru, meanwhile, have now leapfrogged into third place on the points table. And the only reason they aren't higher is because of the damage their point difference suffered in the 42-24 loss to Gujarat Fortunegiants.