The Bengaluru leg of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 7 ended on Friday, with Bengaluru Bulls finishing with three wins from four matches. Although not as impressive as Dabang Delhi's perfect record at home in the previous leg, the Bulls did well to register three straight victories after losing their first match.
Here are our power rankings from the seventh leg of the season:
Raider, Puneri Paltan
The tall, young Manjeet has already made himself one of the Paltan's most important players this season. He had a poor outing in his team's loss to Haryana Steelers, but redeemed himself in the next match. He was the Paltan's best raider as well as defender in their thrilling 33-33 tie against U Mumba.
#9 Vikash Kandola
Raider, Haryana Steelers
One of the finds of Season 5 and Haryana's best raider last season, Kandola already has 90 points and five Super 10s from nine matches. The most recent of those was in his team's sole match in Bengaluru, a comfortable 41-27 win over Puneri Paltan. The only reason Kandola isn't higher on this list is because he had just the one match to play in this leg.
#8 Pardeep Narwal
Raider, Patna Pirates
Even as Patna's miserable season continues -- with the three-time champions' losing streak now at six matches -- Narwal remains as solid as ever. The two-time MVP scored 14 points in each of Patna's two matches in Bengaluru. In the first, the Bulls came back from 22-17 down to edge the match 40-39. In the second, Patna were dominated 41-29 by UP. That no other Patna player managed more than three points is perhaps a good indicator of why they are at the bottom of the table.
#7 Mahender Singh
Defender, Bengaluru Bulls
While Pawan Kumar Sehrawat is deservedly lauded for his contributions to the Bulls' success, credit must go to their defence as well. In all their matches at home, especially the two close victories, the Bulls' defence has kept them in contention. While the best contributors have varied, main defender Mahender Singh's marshalling of the defence has been crucial. Other than a poor outing against the Tamil Thalaivas, he scored in all the other matches and managed a Super 5 against Patna. Mahender is currently joint second on the list of tackle points scored.
#6 Siddharth Desai
Raider, Telugu Titans
The most expensive player of this year's auctions has been criticized for not being as consistent as he was in his debut season last year. To be fair, though, Desai is still his team's best raider and has been more consistent in the last few matches. He scored nine points in his team's win over the Thalaivas and amassed 23 points -- the same as Pawan Kumar Sehrawat -- in a match against the Bulls that the Titans were unlucky to lose by just one point.
#5 Shrikant Jadhav
Raider, UP Yoddha
In a team that also has the likes of Monu Goyat and Rishank Devadiga, it's Jadhav who has been the best raider. He has been consistent and is building on his solid performances for UP last season. Jadhav scored a Super 10 in his team's domination of Patna Pirates and nine points in a close win over Bengal Warriors.
#4 Nitesh Kumar
Defender, UP Yoddha
After two wins in Bengaluru, UP are currently just outside the top six. Along with Jadhav, captain and defender Nitesh Kumar has been key to their recent momentum. Although Nitesh hasn't scored quite as prolifically as he did last season, he has come good in recent matches. He scored seven tackle points in the close win over Bengal Warriors and five tackle points in a more easy victory over Patna Pirates. In both those matches, it was the Nitesh-led defence that proved to be the difference between the two teams.
#3 Naveen Kumar
Raider, Dabang Delhi KC
The most consistent and, arguably, the best player this season, Naveen threw in yet another Super 10 -- this time a 16-point effort -- in his team's only match this leg, a 46-44 comeback win over Jaipur Pink Panthers. Down by six points with less than three minutes to go, Naveen, along with Chandran Ranjit, pulled off some timely raids to ensure his team held on to their place at the top of the table.
#2 Abhishek Singh
Raider, U Mumba
Abhishek Singh and Siddharth Desai both made their PKL debut with U Mumba last season. After a decent first season, Singh has come into his own this edition, with his raiding taking on greater importance in Desai's absence. Singh has already surpassed his tally of last season in fewer matches and has three Super 10s to his name. Two of those came in U Mumba's matches in Bengaluru -- one a 13-point effort in a 47-21 thrashing of Jaipur and the other an 11-point performance in another thrilling 33-33 finish in the Maharashtra derby against Puneri Paltan. Singh's last raid, in the final minute of the match, earned his team the tie.
#1 Pawan Kumar Sehrawat
Raider, Bengaluru Bulls
One of the ways the PKL's stats section identifies raiding performances in a match is by the Super 10, the term given for scoring 10 raid points or more in a match. Given Pawan's performances so far this season, the PKL really ought to consider introducing a Super 20 category to better recognize his scoring. Pawan appears to be delivering all-or-nothing efforts -- he scored 17, 17 and 23 points in the Bulls' wins and three points in their loss. Delhi's Naveen Kumar had recently begun to close the gap on Pawan in the scoring charts. But after this leg, Pawan has once again opened up a substantial lead over the Delhi youngster in the categories of total points and raid points.