Pro Kabaddi League 2019: Rating all the squads
The VIVO Pro Kabaddi League Auction took place during the 8th and 9th of April, and it was nothing short of electrifying.
The two days saw many players shifting loyalties to different teams. Two such players were Rahul Chaudhari and Jang Kun Lee, who will represent a new franchise for the first time ever.
While Rahul ended his six-season long association with the Telugu Titans, Lee made the move from Bengal Warriors to neighbors, Patna Pirates. Meanwhile, Rahul moved south to the Tamil Thalaivas.
Siddharth Desai, who was excellent for U Mumba in his debut season moved to the Titans for a massive ₹1.45 crore.
Nitin Tomar was the other player who managed to breach the ₹1 crore mark, as he was sold for ₹1.2 crore. Rahul Chaudhari and Monu Goyat emerged as the other top buys, as they were sold for ₹94 Lakh and ₹93 Lakh.
Iranian star, Mohammad Nabibaksh was the costliest overseas player, as he pocketed a cool ₹77.75 Lakh.
The pre-season battle was done at the auction, and it is now time for the actual battle on the mat that will kick-off in July. In light of that, we shall rate all the squads, and look at how strong they are on paper.
#12 Haryana Steelers- 5/10
Raiders: Vikash Khandola, Prashant Kumar Rai, Vinay, Naveen, K Selvamani
Defenders: Ravi Kumar, Dharmaraj Cheralathan, Vikas Kale, Vikram Kandola, Subash Narwal
All-rounders: Kuldeep Singh, Amir Hossein Maleki, Tin Phonchoo
Haryana Steelers had a disastrous season last time around, and majority of the blame should be taken by the defenders. They average nearly 9 tackle points per game, something that is just unacceptable at this level.
The Haryana-based franchise haven't done a whole lot to rectify those problems. While they did buy Dharmaraj Cheralathan, he is past his prime and isn't the same player anymore.
Even the likes of Ravi Kumar, Vikas Kale and Kuldeep Singh haven't been in great form. While their defense isn't the best of the lot, their raiding unit is excellent.
Iranian defender, Amir Hossein Maleki will have to play a crucial role for the team and a lot will depend on him, when it comes to the defense.
They have Vikash Khandola and Prashant Kumar Rai in their ranks who are both coming off good PKL seasons.
Naveen was highly impressive for the Steelers' last season. Selvamani is also a proven performer in the PKL and will be their back-up raider.
For the Haryana Steelers to qualify, they will need their defense to step up and support the raiders.