PKL Auction 2021 will take place from August 29 to 31. The fate of many kabaddi stars will be decided in the coming days. The 12 franchises will try to fill the vacant spots in their squads for the 2021 edition of the Pro Kabaddi League.
A few days ago, all 12 teams released their respective lists of retained and released players. Some big names have been retained, while quite a few game-changers have returned to the auction pool for PKL Auction 2021.
Which team is looking the strongest before PKL Auction 2021?
On paper, a few teams are looking a little stronger than their rivals at the moment. In this listicle, we will rank the 12 squads after player retentions.
12. Tamil Thalaivas
Tamil Thalaivas had star players like Rahul Chaudhari, Mohit Chhillar, Ajay Thakur, Manjeet Chhillar and Shabeer Bappu in their squad during the 2019 season. Still, they took the wooden spoon home.
The Chennai-based franchise have released all the big names from their squad. Going into PKL Auction 2021, the Thalaivas only have Sagar, Himanshu and M Abishek in the team.
11. Telugu Titans
Another team that finished in the lower half of the points table in 2019, Telugu Titans, have released their match-winners Siddharth Desai, Vishal Bhardwaj and Abozar Mighani. The current squad has six players - Rakesh Gowda, Ankit Beniwal, Rajnish, Manish, Akash Choudhary and Akash Dattu Arsul.
None of them have played much in the Pro Kabaddi League. The Titans will have to target some impact players at PKL Auction 2021.
10. Puneri Paltan
Puneri Paltan raised a few eyebrows by releasing their skipper PO Surjeet Singh. Along with him, the likes of Nitin Tomar, Manjeet and Girish Maruti Ernak are also back in the auction pool.
The Pune-based franchise currently have Balasaheb Jadhav, Pawan Kumar Kadian, Hadi Tajik, Sanket Sawant and Pankaj Mohite in the squad. Like the Telugu Titans, they need some seasoned campaigners.
9. Patna Pirates
The Patna Pirates grabbed the headlines by releasing their star raider Pardeep Narwal. The 'Record Breaker' of the Pro Kabaddi League is the hottest free agent in the league now.
Patna have retained Neeraj Kumar, Monu, Mohit, Rajveersinh Chavan and Sahil Mann before the auction. It will be interesting to see if the Pirates sign Pardeep again.
8. Haryana Steelers
The Haryana Steelers have retained three raiders and one defender ahead of PKL Auction 2021. They are placed a little higher on this list because they have kept the services of Vikash Kandola and Vinay.
Retaining Dhramaraj Cheralathan could have been a wise move because of his experience and leadership skills. However, the Steelers have seemingly hinted that they will invest in youth this year.
7. UP Yoddha
Rishank Devadiga and Monu Goyat have not been retained by UP Yoddha for PKL 2021. The team has only one raider - Surinder Gill - right now in the squad.
UP Yoddha are seventh on this list because of Nitesh Kumar and Sumit. The two defenders performed exceptionally well in the previous season. The Uttar Pradesh-based franchise need to strengthen their raiding unit at PKL Auction 2021.