At PKL Auction 2021, one of the most productive teams was Puneri Paltan. The franchise from Maharashtra had retained a few of their young players ahead of the PKL Season 8.
Puneri Paltan have always been regarded as full of potential but never truly delivered on the promise. They have featured in the Pro Kabaddi League since the inaugural season but have never made it all the way to the grand finale.
PKL Auction 2021 saw them go all guns blazing to rebuild their roster for the eighth edition of the league. Puneri Paltan managed to retain the services of their star man Nitin Tomar for ₹61 lakh using the Final Bid Match (FBM) card.
In this article, we take a closer look at the Puneri Paltan squad post PKL Auction 2021.
SWOT Analysis of Puneri Paltan PKL Season 8 Squad
Puneri Paltan have managed to assemble one of the strongest corner defense duos in the Pro Kabaddi League. At the left corner position, they picked up Vishal Bhardwaj (₹60 lakh), one of the most consistent defenders in the PKL over the last few seasons.
Fresh from a title with the Bengal Warriors, Baldev Singh was a hot property at the PKL Auction 2021 and the Paltans snagged him for ₹60 lakh to fill their right corner position. A combination of two corner defenders from Himachal will be crucial for Puneri Paltan's defense in the upcoming season.
Despite having a very strong corner defensive combination in their potential starting seven, the Puneri Paltan have one major cause for concern. They lack a formidable cover defense with the young picks Govind and Sanket Sawant (retained NYP) being inexperienced.
Head coach Anup Kumar will aim to find his best starting seven and avoid too many changes, which was the case last season for the Puneri Paltan.
Puneri Paltan retained one of the most promising youngsters, Pankaj Mohite ahead of PKL Auction 2021. In his debut PKL season, the Maharashtra raider scored 110 raid points in 16 matches, emerging as the second highest scorer for the Paltan.
Pune have also signed some promising youngsters like Sombir Gulia, a solid backup right corner for Baldev Singh. Other players like Victor Onyango Obiero, Mohit Goyat and Karamvir might get fewer chances but have a lot of potential to do well on the mat.
Puneri Paltan have decided to take the risk of backing Nitin Tomar for PKL Season 8, despite a poor season last time around. He suffered an injury during the middle of the season which meant he missed a lot of their matches. Pawan Kumar Kadian was also retained by them who did not exactly perform at a high level in PKL Season 7.
With the acquisition of Nitin Tomar and Rahul Chaudhari, they might be preferred ahead of youngster Pankaj Mohite. He could thus be rusty when the team needs him.