After entering into the playoffs in the sixth edition of the Pro Kabaddi League, Dabang Delhi KC would want to go a step ahead in the upcoming seventh season of the league, which will begin in few months. The team from the national capital has kept most of their first-choice players from last year.
Last season's performance:
After failing multiple times in the PKL, Dabang Delhi KC had made an entry into the play-offs of the previous edition of the league on the back of an amazing home run. They had won five out of their six games at the Thyagraj Sports Complex in the national capital. Out of their 22 total league matches last season, the Dabang Delhi side won 11 and finished third on the Zone A points table with 68 total points. After beating Bengal warriors in the first eliminator, the JoginderNarwal-led side went down to UP Yoddha and was knocked out of the tournament in the third eliminator.
Naveen Kumar was the biggest revelation in the previous season for the Dabang unit and was well-supported in the raiding unit by Chandran Ranjit and the mighty Iranian all-rounder Meraj Sheykh. Skipper Joginder led the defence from the front and some good performance in patches by Ravinder Pahal, Vishal Mane, and others helped the side scale through the difficult phases and finally made way into the playoffs of the 2018 edition of the league. The team relied mostly on the experienced players in the defensive unit while the raiding unit wore a new look with Naveen, and Ranjit and Sheykh was the only raider with some experience behind him before the start of the league last year.
Positive takeaways from the auction:
After deciding to retain their last year’s skipper Joginder and Sheykh in Elite Player Retention, Delhi then decided to keep Naveen Kumar in the team under the New Young Player (NYP) category. The team management had their faith in the same players who took them into the playoffs in the auctions earlier this month as well. They bought back Chandran Ranjit, Ravinder Pahal, and Vishal Mane to keep their six out of seven first-choice players from the last season. Ranjit was roped in for a whopping Rs. 70 lakh as Delhi used the Final Bid Match (FBM) against Puneri Paltan. The other card was used to keep The Hawk – Pahal in the team’s defence for Rs 61 lakh against Tamil Thalaivas. Getting back Mane for Rs 28.5 lakh meant that the experienced trio of Joginder, Pahal and Mane will continue in the Delhi team next season.
However, the best purchase for them was all-rounder Vijay Kumar who played for Patna Pirates in the last edition of the league. He was roped in for 41 lakh rupees but it remains to be seen how the Dabang team can use him in their playing seven during the upcoming edition. Delhi had a concern in their defence as the team didn’t have a good left cover. However, bringing in Anil Kumar for only 20 lakh rupees from Telugu Titans could be a great thing for the side.
Threats for next season:
Although the team from the national capital decided to go almost with the same team from the previous season with an aim of getting better results in their favour, a few of their players looked out of form last year. Right corner Pahal and right cover Mane were not that good as they were expected to be in season 6. Sheykh, in the raiding department, was only successful during the home leg and age could play a crucial role for the 30-year-old Iranian all-rounder. Not only Sheykh, but age might be a cause of concern for the three defenders as well and in a long tournament like the PKL remaining fit for the complete season will be crucial for them. They don’t even have a good back-up option for Joginder, Ravinder and Mane this year.
Dabang Delhi Squad:
Meraj Sheykh, Joginder Narwal, Chandran Ranjit, Ravinder Pahal, Naveen Kumar, Vijay Malik, Vishal Mane, Anil Kumar, Saeid Ghaffari, Sombir, Pratik Patil, Neeraj Narwal, Satywan,
SportsCafe’s starting 7:
Raider – Meraj Sheykh
Left in – Chandran Ranjit
Right in – Naveen Kumar
Left corner – Joginder Singh Narwal (C)
Right corner – Ravinder Pahal
Left cover – Anil Kumar
Right cover – Vishal Mane
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