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Kabaddi

PKL 2021: Gujarat Giants - Preview, Squad, Expected 7, Schedule

With multiple former players returning, can Gujarat Giants dominate in PKL 2021 like they did in their first two seasons?

PKL 2021: Gujarat Giants - Preview, Squad, Expected 7, Schedule
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Gujarat Giants (Source: Gujaratgiants/Instagram)

By

Vaibhav Borse

Updated: 17 Dec 2021 1:14 PM GMT

Even though they failed to qualify for playoffs in their recent attempt, the Gujarat Giants franchise is considered the most successful among four latecomers to the Pro Kabaddi League. They had a dream start in PKL, playing two finals in the first two seasons.

But, their final campaigns lacked a proper finish thus ended up as the runner-up both times. As the brand new season is on the verge of beginning, Giants are ready to get down to business. They will be expecting a change in their fortune after the removal of the same word from the team name.


Manpreet's magic on the cards

Coach Manpreet Singh's association with Gujarat Giants has been an iconic one. He is been part of the Ahmedabad-based franchise from day 1. He developed a game culture in the team where their defence acts as a premier department. Even if we look at Gujarat's current roster, their defensive unit overpowers the raiding unit on paper by far. This approach of Manpreet Singh played a vital role in transforming Gujarat into an impenetrable fort.

Rocky Gujarat ready to roll!

The cover pair of the cousins Sunil Kumar and Parvesh Bhainswal is one of the hottest prospects in Indian Kabaddi right now. The pair have scored around 49% of the Giants' tackle points (368 out of 752 tackle points) proves the dependency of Gujarat on these two. Manpreet is a fond believer of alliance between two defenders hence he brought two ace defenders to hold the corner positions. Although left corner Girish Ernak and right corner Ravinder Pahal never played with each other before and were part of the Puneri Paltan franchise at different timelines.

Gujarat Giants raiding department will be headed by two of their former players who are making comeback in the league. Mahendra Ganesh Rajput and forgotten star Ajay Kumar were part of the Gujarat Giants roster in 2018 and missed the 2019 Pro Kabaddi edition. Another former Gujarat Giants raider Rakesh Narwal is going to make a comeback in the franchise after winning the Pro Kabaddi title with Bengal in season seven. Karnataka's fiery raiding talent Rathan will be making his awaited Pro Kabaddi debut this season.

Gujarat Giants roster's only all-rounder Hadi Oshtorak will be operating independently. The Iranian completes the long list of players who will be donning Gujarati colours once again. Hadi was part of the Gujarat Giants roster before joining Patna Pirates in season seven.

Gujarat Giants expected Starting7:

Mahendra Ganesh Rajput (Raider)

Ajay Kumar (Raider)

K Rathan (Raider)

Parvesh Bhainswal (Left Cover)

Sunil Kumar (Right Cover) (Captain)

Girish Maruti Ernak (Left Corner)

Ravinder Pahal (Right Corner)

Announced fixtures:

Jaipur Pink Panthers - 23 December 2021

Bengal Warriors - 24 December 2021

Dabang Delhi KC - 26 December 2021

UP Yoddha - 29 December 2021

Haryana Steelers - 2 January 2022

Puneri Paltan - 5 January 2022

Patna Pirates - 8 January 2022

Telugu Titans - 11 January 2022

Bengaluru Bulls - 14 January 2022

U Mumba - 18 January 2022

Tamil Thalaivas - 20 January 2022

Squad:

Raiders- Mahendra Ganesh Rajput, Ajay Kumar, Rakesh Narwal, Rathan K, Harmanjeet Singh, Bhuvneshwar Gaur, Harshit Yadav, Maninder Singh, Pardeep Kumar, Rakesh Sungroya

All Rounders- Hadi Oshtorak

Defenders- Sunil Kumar (C), Parvesh Bhainswal, Ravinder Pahal, Girish Maruti Ernak, Ankit, Davinder Amar, Sumit Malik, Vishav Chaudhary, Soleiman Pahlevani


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