There is an age-old adage in sports – attackers win you games, but defenders win you titles. It holds true for kabaddi as well, for a good defence is imperative if a team harbours ambitions of being champions.Titles are won on the basis of a strong backline, as was evident in the fabulous Patna Pirates defence last season as well as U Mumba’s formidable defence back in season 2.As in most other sports, defenders do the dirty work in kabaddi but they often do not get the credit they deserve. Communication is the key in any defence and the corner defenders are vital cogs with agility and timing being paramount. Tied at the 5th spot are Surender Nada of Haryana and Dharmaraj Cheralathan of Telangana. At 27, Surender is much younger and prefers the left corner of defence. 42-year-old veteran Dharmaraj has bags of experience and is adept at both corners of the defence.Surender will turn out for the team from his home state, Haryana Steelers, this time around. He has previously played for Bengaluru Bulls in season 4 and U Mumba in season 2 and 3. He has won the gold medal in the 2016 South Asian Games as well.He has played a total of 49 matches in the Pro Kabaddi League so far in which he has racked up 138 tackle points at an average of 2.82 per game. His successful tackle rate is just over 50% and he has 5 green cards to his name.Dharmaraj CheralathanDharmaraj, on the other hand, will play for Puneri Paltan in the upcoming season. He was the captain of the Patna Pirates team that won the title last season. He played for Telugu Titans in season 3 and Bengaluru Bulls in season 1 and 2.In 59 matches played, Dharmaraj has 151 tackle points at an average of 2.56. He has 134 successful tackles out of 258 and has collected 2 green cards.
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