Pawan Sehrawat, popularly known as Hi-flyer, has emerged as the top raider in Pro Kabaddi 2019, as he continues his superb form from the last season. Sehrawat has the highest average raid points this season, ahead of Pardeep Narwal, and has been the backbone for defending champions Bengaluru Bulls’ success. He finished at the top of PKL 2018 raider leaderboard with 271 point in 24 matches and this season, he is just one point behind Pardeep Narwal.
Check Pro Kabaddi points table and schedule here
Bengaluru Bulls are placed fourth on the points table and it is certain that they will play the playoffs.
Sehrawat’s success is depicted by his performance in all phases, where his strike rate is above 60, while he has scored 66 per cent of Bengaluru’s raid points. However, his performance in the final ten minutes in any match has been exceptional. In the games against Patna and Delhi, where Bengaluru trailed by more than 5 points after 30 mins, Bengaluru went on to win the game courtesy of Sehrawat’s raid outrage in the dying minutes.
In a telephonic interview with Business Standard, Pawan Sehrawat talked about various aspects of his game and how coach Randhir Singh Sehrawat groomed him. Edited excerpts:
When did you start playing kabaddi?
At the age of 12-13. I liked Kabaddi and everyone in my village plays this sport. I picked my game from them. My first match was at the school level. I also played inter-school tournaments in my early days.
What kind of support did you receive from your family?
My family always supported me and still keeps my morale up. They call me after every match and urge me to keep playing the way I do.
During a high-octane clash, what element other than skills and fitness does a raider need?
For a raider, it's important to maintain a good fitness regime or else he will get injured on the mat. Other than fitness, the quality of a raider is defined by the way he uses his escaping skills, agility on the mat and presence of mind.
During the season, I follow my trainer's instructions and complement them with some special training sessions. During the off-season, I have a different fitness routine. I keep myself fit by playing different sports like kabaddi and badminton. I also do some running.
How you deal with the pressure when other raiders are not performing?
I don't pressure myself. The thought that defenders can tackle me and I might not win any point doesn't even enter my mind. To me, the opponent is a good player, but so am I. Whoever plays well, wins.
How do you see your Pro Kabaddi 2019 journey?
PKL 7 has been tremendous for me as I picked up from where I left the last season. I want to continue this form in the remaining matches also.
What has the role of your captain and that of your coach been in your progress?
Coach Randhir Singh Sehrawat has a played special role in my kabaddi career. He keeps motivating me and tells me how to escape from different tackle situations. Even when I get tackled, he assures me I'll do better in the next raid and change the course of the game in my team's favour. Our captain Rohit Kumar also tells me that I have the capability to match the opponents' score. They trust me a lot and I try to live up to their expectations.