A captain is the most key member of any team's roster. Captain's title comes with all on-field leadership responsibilities of a Kabaddi team. The planning and execution of a team's tactics heavily depend upon a player holding their commander position. Here we are taking a close look at the captains of each side.
Patna Pirates - Prashanth Kumar Rai
Prashanth Kumar Rai is an underrated raider and is among the few players who had been part of every Pro Kabaddi season. Although we have never seen Prashanth in a leadership role before. It will be challenging for him to replace Patna's former star Pardeep Narwal as a raider and leader at the camp. He will be accompanied by cover defender Neeraj Kumar as vice-captain who will also lead the defence line of Pirates.
Tamil Thalaivas - Surjeet
The Chennai-based franchise has named Surjeet as their new Thalaiva. Surjeet is the first and only defender in the Pro Kabaddi to cross the milestone of 25 High 5s. The right cover defender captained Bengal Warriors in two consecutive playoff finishes before joining Puneri Paltan as the skipper. Pro Kabaddi winner with Bengal Warriors, K Prapanjan is making his comeback in Thalaivas as a vice-captain.
Gujarat Giants - Sunil Kumar
Sunil Kumar is ready to take the charge for his third season as the captain of Gujarat Giants. Gujarat reached into the PKL finals under his guard in 2018 where they were defeated by Bengaluru Bulls. The right cover defender had a forgettable previous campaign as a captain and as an individual as well. At a very young age, Sunil Kumar has developed a fantastic style of leading the team from the front.
Jaipur Pink Panthers - Deepak Hooda
The current Indian captain Deepak Niwas Hooda has been retained by inaugural champions Jaipur Pink Panthers. Deepak has vast experience of leading Telugu Titans and Puneri Paltan on his back. The star all-rounder is a fan favourite in Rajasthan as he also represents the state in nationals. He led Rajasthan to a bronze medal finish regaining the trust from Pink Panthers after last season's failure.
UP Yoddha - Nitesh Kumar
Yoddhas from Uttar Pradesh are ready to march for Pro Kabaddi season eight under the 'Senapati Nitesh Kumar'. The 24-year-old right corner had a stellar captaincy debut season previously. UP managed to qualify for the playoff round and Captain Nitesh scored whopping 75 tackle points making him the third-best defender of the season. His robust consistency and fearless attitude make him a potential candidate for the captaincy of the Indian national team.
Dabang Delhi KC - Joginder Narwal
Delhi's fortunes have changed drastically since the veteran Joginder Narwal has overtaken the command of Dabangs. They will begin the 2021 PKL season as the favourites after their previous two successful campaigns. He will be managing a squad that already have many acclaimed leaders like Manjeet Chhillar, Ajay Thakur, Sandeep Narwal and Jeeva Kumar. The 39-year-old veteran has played leadership roles many times in his lengthy career.
Telugu Titans - Rohit Kumar
Former Pro Kabaddi winning Bengaluru Bulls' captain Rohit Kumar will be leading the Telugu Titans franchise this season. Rohit clinched the PKL trophy with Bengaluru Bulls in 2018 and replaces Abozar Mighani as the skipper of the Yellow Brigade. His departure from Bulls was evident after the rise of Pawan Kumar Sehrawat. Although Rohit's role at Titans won't be much different from Bengaluru as he will be leading the side teaming up with star raider and vice-captain Siddharth Desai.
Bengal Warriors - Maninder Singh
Bengal Warriors are eying on the successful defence of their Pro Kabaddi League title under the chief Maninder Singh as in charge. Maninder Singh was promoted as the captain of the Warriors after the departure of Surjeet. Maninder led Bengal to the runner-up finish in the league stage but went out to miss crucial playoff games including the final due to shoulder injury. Captaincy has helped Mani to transform himself as an even more dangerous threat for opponent teams.
Puneri Paltan - Nitin Tomar
Former UP Yoddha captain Nitin Tomar is eager to make a leadership comeback after the gap of two seasons. Nitin previously led his home side UP Yoddha to playoffs in their debut Pro Kabaddi League season. He will be replacing Surjeet at Paltan who had a tremendous individual season but missed the trick as a leader. The 21-year-old macho defender Vishal Bharadwaj will be serving the Pune-based franchise as the vice-captain.
U Mumba - Fazel Atrachali
It is a tough task for foreign players to lead a Pro Kabaddi side due to communication tangle. But despite all these obstacles, Fazel Atrachali still enjoys a decent PKL career as a captain. Fazel has led his team to the playoff round three out of three times including a final defeat with Gujarat Giants. U Mumba was forced out from the Semifinals of the 2019 Pro Kabaddi campaign where the Iranian Sultan bagged the defender of the season honour. Mumbai's rising star Abhishek Singh will be assisting Fazel ahead of anticipating season eight.
Bengaluru Bulls - Pawan Sehrawat
Bengaluru Bulls are going to start their Pro Kabaddi campaign without Rohit Kumar for the first time since season four. Bengaluru's new hero Pawan Kumar Sehrawat will be stepping up for the challenge. Earlier, Pawan took the temporary charge of Bengaluru in the absence of Rohit Kumar. Indian Railways side recently bagged the gold medal leading Indian Railways to the Senior Nationals glory. Bulldozer cover defender Mahender Singh will be the deputy commander of The Red Army.
Haryana Steelers - Unnamed
Haryana Steelers' team management is yet to announce their 'Dhakad' captain. The PKL fans from 'The land of Kabaddi' are waiting for their franchise to name the replacement of Dharmaraj Cheralathan. Steelers have many top contenders for the position. The candidate list includes the names of Surender Nada, Ravi Kumar, Vikash Kandola and Rohit Gulia.