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 are having a new look from the change in players to coaching personnel.
We take a look at how runner-ups of season 8 Patna Pirates line up for the upcoming season.
Last Season Review
Patna Pirates was the next squad of PKL 8 despite finishing runner-ups. Ram Mehar Singh assembled a squad with the perfect balance of offence and defence.
The raiding trio of Sachin Tanwar, Monu Goyat, and Guman Singh always chipped in with raid points and the quartet of Md. Shadlu, Neeraj, Sajin C and Sunil Narwal terrorized raiding units.
Patna had the services of incredible leader Prashant Kumar Rai at their disposal.
PKL 9- Squad Changes
Patna Pirates saw an overhaul in their coaching system with Ram Mehar Singh being replaced by experienced coach Ravi Shetty. Ravi Shetty started his tenure by retaining the core of the previous year's Patna Pirates.
Sachin Tanwar, Md. Shadlu, Neeraj, Sunil Narwal, Sajin C., and Monu Sandhu are still the core of the team. Patna had retained Shadlu, Neeraj, Sajin and Monu while Sachin and Sunil were bought back by FBM Cards in the auction.
Another important pick for Patna is Rohit Gulia who comes with tonnes of experience on his back and can play roles of raider and defender effectively.
Patna retained youngsters Rohit, Manish, Ranjit, Thiyagarajan, Anuj and Naveen who have been around the team last season also.
Sushil Gulia, Anand Tomar, Shivam, Sushil, Abdul Insamam, Vishwas and Sagar were brought in to strengthen the bench along with another foreigner Daniel Odhiambo.
Patna Pirates Full Squad-
Retained Players: Neeraj Kumar, Monu, Mohammadreza Chiyaneh, Sajin Chandrasekhar, Manish, Rohit, Ranjit Venkatramana Naik, Thiyagarajan Yuvaraj, Anuj Kumar, and Naveen Sharma.
Auctioned Player: Rohit Gulia, Sachin, Sunil Narwal, Daniel Omondi Odhiambo, Abdul Insamam S, Shivam Chaudhari, Anand Surendra Tomar, Sushil Gulia, Vishwas S, and Sagar Kumar
PKL 9 Preview- Strength and Weakness
Strength- Ravi Shetty had a huge task of retaining the formidable unit Patna was last year and he succeeded to an extent in keeping the core together.
Patna Pirates had the most formidable defensive lineup in PKL 8 with a total of 289 tackle points which was the highest among all the teams.
The corner combination of Md. Shadlu and Sunil Narwal shared a total of 138 points with Shadlu being the best defender in the league. The experienced Neeraj Kumar is paired up with the young Sajin Chandrasekhar in cover combination and it is as dangerous as their corner combination.
The raid trio will be likely Sachin Tanwar, Monu Sandhu and Rohit Gulia. Sachin was 9th on the raiders leaderboard last season and Monu proved himself whenever called upon from the bench.
The addition of Rohit Gulia means Patna has experience in their ranks. He will shoulder the raiding responsibilities.
One of the biggest strengths of Patna will be the defensive skills of Monu and Rohit and the speed of Shadlu.
Weakness- Patna will miss a proven raider on their bench like they had Guman Singh last season and he later benched Monu Goyat with his performances.
The defence line-up is already stacked with good backups, the raiding part is a little bit of worry for Patna. Although players such as Rohit, Vishwas and Sushil have played, they are untested here in PKL.
With a new coach at the helm, the usage of this squad will be another interesting aspect.
Patna has some minute gaps here and there but with six players from last year's line-up, they are on course for another strong finish on the points table.
Patna Pirates Predicted 7 for PKL 9
Sunil Narwal (Right Corner), Md. Shadlu (Left Corner), Sachin Tanwar (Right In), Monu (Left In), Neeraj (Right Cover), Sajin C. (Left Cover) and Rohit Gulia (Center).