The new season of the PKL promises to be even bigger and better than before as it features a record number of 12 teams. Four new teams are ready to enter the fray and are all set to 'Le Panga', however, the older teams will look to bank on their experience and outwit the newcomers.
The league will witness 12 teams battling it out over the span of 90 days, playing over 130 matches. The first match of the Pro Kabaddi League 2017 will be played between Telugu Titans and Tamil Thalaivas. The journey of the Telugu Titans in the last four seasons saw many ups and downs but they never have been able to reach the finals.
Last season finish:
In the first season of the Pro Kabaddi League, the Titans finished fifth in the group stage and did not qualify for the playoffs. Next year, they worked hard to came back with a bang and secured the third place. In the third season, the team again failed to retain their position as they slipped down to the fifth place. In the last season, they made their presence in the playoffs but were unable to make it to the finals. But still, they were second in the points tally with 50 points from their 14 matches in the group stage.
Telugu Titans at the 2017 PKL auction:
In the player auction for the fifth edition of the PKL, Srinivas Sreeramaneni, the owner of the Telugu Titans spent a huge amount of INR 220 lakhs for six players. Telugu Titans strengthen their attack with the services of Nilesh Salunke for Rs 49 lakh. The team paid Rs 45 lakh for the former Indian captain Rakesh Kumar, while they also bagged the services of Vinod Kumar for Rs 44.5 lakh. The team also spent Rs 29 lakh for Farhad Rahimi, Rs 27.5 lakh for Rohit Rana, and Rs 25 lakh more on adding Vikas to their squad.
Nick Name: The Titans
Squad for PKL Season V:
Raiders: Ankit Malik, Athul MS, Mohsen Maghsoudlou, Munish, Nilesh Salunke, Rahul Chaudhari (C), Vikas, Vikas Kumar, Vikrant, Vinoth Kumar
Defender Right Cover: Farhad Milaghardan, Sombir
Defender Left Cover: Amit Singh Chillar, Rohit Rana, Vinod Kumar
All Rounders: Elangeshwaran R, Rakesh Kumar, Vishal Bhardwaj
Rahul Chaudhari – The team retained the services of their star player Rahul Chaudhari as the skipper for the Titans in season 5. The 24-year-old was a part of the Indian squad who won the Kabaddi World Cup title last year, where they defeated Iran in the final. The Uttar Pradesh lad is the poster boy of Indian Kabaddi and is the first player and raider to score 500+ points in Pro Kabaddi League as he holds the record for the most number of raid points (482) and total points (517) in the league’s history.
Nilesh Salunke – Nilesh will add strength to the team with his brilliant raiding ability. The 24-year-old, Maharashtra-born player was a vital part of the Titans' squad in last season. Both, Rahul Chaudhari and Nilesh, were unbeatable throughout in season 4.
Rakesh Kumar – Telugu Titans paid Rs 45 lakh to secure the services of the senior most player in the league. The 35-year-old was a part of the national team that won gold medals at the World Cups in 2004, 2007. Earlier, Rakesh made his presence felt in the Patna Pirates and U Mumba team. The Titans would definitely want him to repeat his spectacle performance for their team.
The offence of the team was above par even in the earlier seasons but it is their defence that let them down. In this year's auction, the team focused on dependable and strong defenders, and the inclusion of Rohit Rana, who has a good record in the PKL, will give them the much-needed strength to their defence.
There is no doubt in the capability of the Telugu Titans, but they have failed to maintain their winning momentum time and again. Despite trying out many combinations in defence, none of them have yielded results for them. But, in the fifth season of the league, Telugu Titans will try to balance their attack and defence and go the full distance finally.
You can watch the live stream here:
28 July. 16:30 Telugu Titans vs Tamil Thalaivas
29 July. 17:30 Telugu Titans vs Patna Pirates
30 July. 17:30 Telugu Titans vs Bengaluru Bulls
01 August. 17:30 Telugu Titans vs UP Yoddha
02 August. 17:30 Telugu Titans vs Bengal Warriors
03 August. 16:30 Telugu Titans vs Patna Pirates
08 August. 17:30 Bengaluru Bulls vs Telugu Titans
12 August. 16:30 Telugu Titans vs UP Yoddha
16 August. 17:30 Gujarat FortuneGiants vs Telugu Titans
19 August. 16:30 Telugu Titans vs U Mumba
24 August. 16:30 UP Yoddha vs Telugu Titans
31 August. 16:30 Telugu Titans vs Tamil Thalaivas
07 September. 16:30 Telugu Titans vs Puneri Paltan
10 September. 17:30 Haryana Steelers vs Telugu Titans
12 September. 16:30 Bengal Warriors vs Telugu Titans
15 September. 16:30 Patna Pirates vs Telugu Titans
16 September. 16:30 Bengaluru Bulls vs Telugu Titans
27 September. 16:30 Telugu Titans vs Jaipur Pink Panthers
28 September. 17:30 Dabang Delhi vs Telugu Titans
03 October. 17:30 Tamil Thalaivas vs Telugu Titans
20 October. 16:30 Telugu Titans vs Bengal Warriors
Manjeet Chillar or Sandeep Narwal? Which all-rounder will have more points?
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