India's second most watched league Pro Kabaddi League is back with its 9th edition from October 7th, 2022.
After an auction which saw records breaking left, right and centre, all the 12 franchises have a new look from the change in players to coaching personnel.
We take a look at how Bengal Warriors line up for the upcoming season.
Last Season Review
Coming as champions in season 8, Bengal Warriors were touted for a good finish given their squad strength.
Despite having one of the best raiders in the league, Bengal Warriors underperformed massively.
They finished 9th on the table and were knocked out way before the deciding games.
PKL 9- Squad Changes
Bengal Warriors released names like Abozar Mighani, and Mohammed Nabibaksh and retained their captain Maninder Singh along with young guys such as Manoj Gowda, and Akash Pikalmunde.
Other retentions were Suyog Baban, R Guhan, Prashant Kumar and Vaibhav Garje.
The newly hired coaching staff made some interesting choices in the auction.
Former Indian captain Deepak Niwas Hooda was brought at base price. Veteran Shrikant Jadhav was also picked.
Bengal picked defence veterans Surender Nada and Girish Maruti Ernak along with Ashish Kumar Sangwan, Parveen Satpal and Amit Sheoran.
Youngsters Shubham Shinde, Ajinkya Kapre and Soleiman Pahlevani were brought in. Rohit was brought back with the use of an FBM card.
Bengal Warriors Full Squad-
Retained Players: Maninder Singh, Manoj Gowda K, Akash Pikalmunde, Suyog Baban Gaikar, R Guhan, Parshant Kumar, Vaibhav Bhausaheb Garje.
Auction Buys: Deepak Niwas Hooda, Ajinkya Rohidas Kapre, Girish Maruti Ernak, Shrikant Jadhav, Soleiman Pahlevani, Aslam Saja Mohammed Thambi, Ashish Kumar Sangwan, Vinod Kumar, Balaji D, Parveen Satpal, Amit Sheoran, Surender Nada, Sakthivel R, Shubham Shinde, and Rohit.
PKL 9 Preview- Strength and Weakness
Strength- The biggest strength for Bengal Warriors will be the depth of the squad. With the likes of Deepak Hooda, Maninder Singh, Shrikant Jadhav, Girish Ernak, and Surender Nada starting, the bench of Bengal has good backups.
Youngsters like Rohit, Ajinkya Kapre and Akash Pikalmunde proved their mettle last season and will look to grab all the opportunities.
The raiding unit looks great with Maninder Singh, Deepak Hooda and Shrikant Jadhav leading it. Bengal has Akash Pikalmunde, Rohit and Manoj Gowda on the bench.
Defence of Bengal features seasoned PKL campaigners such as Surender Nada, Girish Ernak, Amit Sheoran, Parveen Satpal and Ashish Sangwan. They also have a good mix of youngsters in form of Soleiman Pahlevani, Shubham Shinde and Ajinkya Kapre.
Weakness- Despite having a lot of experience the likes of Surender Nada and Girish Maruti Ernak are slow and with the pace raiders possess today, it will be tough for them to contain raiding units.
Another problem will be the form of big names for Bengal. The likes of Nada, Girish and Deepak Hooda are coming on the back of bad seasons or injuries. It will be interesting to see how much time they take to hit the ground.
Bengal Warriors Predicted 7 for PKL 9
Shubham Shinde (Right Corner), Surender Nada/Girish Ernak (Left Corner), Maninder Singh (Right In), Shrikant Jadhav (Left In), Ashish Sangwan (Right Cover), Soleiman Pahlevani (Left Cover) and Deepak Niwas Hooda (Center).