The Patna Pirates remain one of the few Pro Kabaddi League teams who consistently succeed at keeping spectators entertained, with their brilliant performances leaving everyone with an incomparable sense of ecsatsy at having witnessed the spectacular. Eyes transfixed on the play, with an ascending heart beat everytime a raid comes to close, the Patna experience is unique. This should be expected, as no other team boasts such a star-studded line up: Pardeep Narwal, Deepak Narwa, Kuldeep Singh, Vikas Kale who can instill fright in even the most capable opponent.
In this article, we wish to draw attention to the magnifcent Jersey No. 8, our defender of the year, Jaideep Sharma. Jaideep was drafted into the team at the 2017 auction for a staggering amount to the tune of 50 lacs. Debuting in season 5, his real worth and potential was realized a season later, becoming the back-bone of the team, the unscalable wall, the inconquerable fort. Operating from the left-hand corner of the mat, his debut season saw him participate in 26 matches, making 154 tackles, gaining 71 tackle points, and earning a spot on the hallowed “Top 5 Defenders” list of the Pro Kabaddi League. A just acknowledgement of his dedication was lifting the championship that season.
In Season 6, Jaideep managed a grand total of 58 tackle points, and a worthy addition to the “Top 10 Defenders” list. The statistics and awards do not portray our stance however, as it may seem that his performance has dipped.
The reality being his evolution into Patna’s main defender is apparent while watching a match, organizing structures, implementing tactics and strategy to great avail and being one of the most dependable “rocks” upon which the team falls back when in distress.
His best perfromance in our eyes would be against the Bengal Warriors.
Jaideep was presented with the captain’s armband for this match, due to the absence of superstar Pardeep Narwal, and rose to the occasion in style, brimming with fiery steel, obtaining a “High-5” in addition to 5 tackle points from 7 tackles. This level of brilliance won the hearts of spectators, who were enthralled at the opportunity to witness such efficient play.
Jaideep’s stocky build aids his ability to hold his position and fight off the reaction of a raider to being held, and his low centre of gravity, and excellent awareness of space enable his reputation of winning crucial tackles, extending to crucial points and games. His ankle hold technique is a textbook example, and Kabaddi players everywhere use it as a reference, further enhancing his worth to the Patna Pirates and the sport in general.
His mixture of method and intuition and his effective tactical approach are definitely extremely valuable, but we feel his mental attributes make a compelling case for his inclusion in conversations revolving around the best defenders in the league. Jaideep, still only 24 years old, behaves in a manner befitting a true sportsman, with his constant balance of optimism and realism, and graceful acceptance of negative results influencing those around him in a positive way. He always exudes an aura of trust and dependability, and is worthy of being a role-model to Kabaddi enthusiasts everywhere.
The Pro Kabaddi League always entertains, and we miss it too. However, it won’t be long until the next season begins, so stay tuned for more updates!