The origin of Kabaddi in India dates back to the time of the epics and is considered to have been a part of the Mahabharata. History suggests the word Kabaddi originated from a Tamil word “kai-pidi” meaning “to hold hands”. Going by that, Tamil Thalivas' PKL entry is a fascinating story.
Although the Thalivas’ are yet to take to the field, they have their heart and mind at the right place - heart with Sachin Tendulkar, India's most revered sporting icon and mind with one of the biggest icons of Tamil movie industry, Kamal Hassan. The duo has brought Tamil Nadu’s two eternal love interests - cricket and Tollywood together and the fans will only hope their performance in the upcoming fifth of the PKL will be a blockbuster as well.
Tamil Nadu at the 2017 PKL auction
The new entrants in the league, Tamil Thalaivas were pretty smart at the auction and became the only team to complete their quota of 25 players, among which 15 players were aged under 25. They spent 63 lakhs to avail the services of Kabaddi World Cup hero Ajay Thakur. They also managed to hire the services of Amit Hooda, who will lead the side, along with the youngsters like Prapanjan and Thangadurai.
Squad for PKL Season V
Raiders: Ajay Thakur, M. Thivakaran, K. Prapanjan, Sombir, Vineet Kumar, Sarang Deshmukh, Waleed Al Hasani, Dong Geon Lee, Bhavani Rajput.
Defenders: Prabhakaran, Vijin T., Vijay Kumar, Muruthu M, Darshan J. C Arun, Amit Hooda, Sanket Chavan, Rajesh Manokaran, Anil Kumar, Anil Kumar, Mugilan, Sanket Chavan T.
All-rounders: Sujit Maharana, Ananth Kumar, Chan Sik Park, D. Pradap.
Ajay Thakur: The 'do-or-die' raid specialist was the lone survivor for India in the finals of the Kabaddi World Cup last year and had it not been for his astute tactical nous in the second half of the game, India would have failed to win the title. The Himachal Pradesh raider has accumulated a total of 327 points from just 58 matches in the Pro Kabaddi League out of which 316 (96.64%) are raid points. Tamil Nadu will hope Thakur can bring his trademark “frog jump” to the fore.
Amit Hooda: The former Jaipur Pink Panthers defender finished last season as the second best when it came to tackling in the Pro Kabaddi League, but he didn’t get more chances due to the presence of many superstars in the lineup. But having been purchased by the Tendulkar-owned franchise, Hooda will hope to show his magic on the mat in this edition.
Strengths: Tamil Thalaivas have a fantastic blend of youth and experience in their set up and will hope that to come to the fore. In the form of Ajay Thakur, Anil Kumar, and Amit Hooda, they have three seasoned campaigners to guide the youngsters. South Korea's Dong Geon Lee decimated India’s defence during the league game of the Kabaddi World Cup and the Chennai-based franchise will hope for more of the same from the Korean.
Weaknesses: Kabaddi is a team sport and relies heavily on coordination between the players and Thalaivas will have to be careful of that as their campaign gets underway against Telugu Titans in the opening encounter of season five.
Date Fixture Stadium
July 28 HYD vs CHE Hyderabad
Aug 4 BLR vs CHE Bengaluru
Aug 10 BLR vs CHE Bengaluru
Aug 16 HAR vs CHE Ahmedabad
Aug 17 DEL vs CHE Ahmedabad
Aug 23 UP vs CHE Lucknow
Aug 26 PAT vs CHE Mumbai
Aug 31 HYD vs CHE Mumbai
Sep 3 KOL vs CHE Kolkata
Sep 13 CHE vs UP Haryana
Sep 20 PAT vs CHE Ranchi
Sep 24 KOL vs CHE Delhi
Sep 26 GUJ vs CHE Delhi
Sep 29 CHE vs PUN Chennai
Sep 30 CHE vs JAI Chennai
Oct 1 CHE vs MUM Chennai
Oct 3 CHE vs HYD Chennai
Oct 4 CHE vs UP Chennai
Oct 5 CHE vs BLR Chennai
Oct 13 KOL vs CHE Pune
Oct 14 CHE vs PAL Pune
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