PKL 2019: Strongest Playing 7 for the Tamil Thalaivas
Since their debut in Season 5 of the Pro Kabaddi League, the Tamil Thalaivas have failed to manage to string together adequate wins and have been found languishing at the bottom of the Zone B standings for consecutive seasons.
In Season 5, they finished with just 46 points off 22 matches with 6 wins, 2 ties, and a staggering 14 losses, and their performance in Season 6 went further downhill as they could manage just 42 points off their 22 matches with just 5 wins, 4 ties, and 13 losses.
The commonality in both the seasons was their over-dependence on their captain, Ajay Thakur in the raiding department caused due to a lack of an efficient and consistent support raider.
Now with the inclusion of Rahul Chaudhari in the squad, a huge weight has been lifted off Ajay's shoulders. While we did see just a glimpse of him, it wouldn't be a surprise if we see Victor Obiero, the Kenyan all-rounder, starting the game this season as the third raider in the side.
While it would be quite interesting to see the duo of Rahul-Ajay in action, the lack of capable bench strength in the raiding department is still a concern that would be looming in the back of the Thalaivas' coach, E. Bhaskaran's mind.
The defense is where the strength of the Thalaivas lies this season. While they have lost C.Arun and Amit Hooda to other sides in this year's auction, they have acquired a resurgent Ran Singh for their inconsistent left corner position, and, Mohit Chhillar and Milad Sheibak to bolster their right corner defense.
Another problem that was quite evident in the last season was the lack of clarity on who actually was leading the side. While Ajay was the captain on paper, Manjeet Chhillar was brought in to marshall the troops inspite of the presence of Ajay on the mat, on quite a few occasions.
An experienced campaigner such as Manjeet is no doubt an asset for any side, especially with the knowledge and insights he can share with the youngsters as well as Ajay, but he needs to provide sufficient space for Ajay to operate efficiently as a captain.
Strongest Playing 7
Raiders: Ajay Thakur (c), Rahul Chaudhari, Victor Obeiro
Cover Defenders: Manjeet Chhillar (left), Ponparthiban Subramanian (right)
Corner Defenders: Ran Singh (left), Mohit Chhillar (right)
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