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PKL Auction 2021: Top 5 picks from FBM cards used by the teams

Deepak Niwas Hooda (left) and Siddharth Desai (right)
Deepak Niwas Hooda (left) and Siddharth Desai (right)

The three-day auction event for the eighth edition of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) witnessed intense bidding wars and strategizing among all 12 franchises. Each team filled their respective squads with many talented names for PKL 8, which is slated to take place in December this year.

Over 190 players were signed to the 12 franchises, with the pro kabaddi teams spending ₹48.22 crore in total. A total of 10 Final Bid Match (FBM) cards were used at the PKL Auction 2021, where those players returned to their previous teams for PKL Season 8.

Jaipur Pink Panthers were the only team to use both their FBM cards. Meanwhile, Dabang Delhi K.C., Tamil Thalaivas, and U Mumba were among those franchises which didn't opt for single retention through FBM cards. Instead, they opted to pick fresh new faces for their respective franchises for the upcoming season.

The use of FBM cards plays a vital role for teams to retain their former players who played a vital role in their last campaign. These players add value to the side and bring their previous season's experience to the table, which could prove crucial for the franchise.

With that in mind, here's a look at the top five picks from the FBM cards used by the teams at PKL Auction 2021:


#5 Mahender Singh (Bengaluru Bulls)

Mahender Singh has been crucial to Bengaluru Bulls' defense.
Mahender Singh has been crucial to Bengaluru Bulls' defense.

After releasing Mahender Singh into the auction pool, it was evident that Bengaluru Bulls were going to use their FBM card on the 'Bulldozer' even if his price had gone up. Surprisingly, the Bulls got their rock-solid left cover defender at a bargain price of just ₹50 lakh through the FBM card at the PKL Auction 2021.

The Himachal Pradesh native has been a vital cog in the Bengaluru Bulls' defense over the past three seasons. With 181 tackle points and 12 High-5s to his name, he has been their top defender in the PKL.

The burly lad is known for his hard-hitting dashes and timed blocks, and will once again lead the team's defense in the upcoming eighth edition of the PKL.


#4 Sandeep Dhull (Jaipur Pink Panthers)

Sandeep Dhull will ply his trade for the Pink Panthers for a third-consecutive season.
Sandeep Dhull will ply his trade for the Pink Panthers for a third-consecutive season.

When Sandeep Dhull's name popped up, it was expected that his price would go through the roof. However, the teams didn't express too much interest in the corner defender during the PKL Auction 2021. The Jaipur Pink Panthers made perfect use of the this opportunity and signed him for just ₹45 lakh.

Dhull is a prominent left corner who made his remarkable comeback for the Jaipur Pink Panthers during the sixth season. From that point on, he has been a mainstay for the side. He was the fourth-best defender of PKL 7 with 73 tackle points and five High-5s.

The corner pair of Amit Hooda and Sandeep Dhull will once again play for the Abhishek Bachchan-owned franchise during the eighth season as they look to consolidate their names.

#3 Deepak Niwas Hooda (Jaipur Pink Panthers)

Deepak Niwas Hooda has been Jaipur Pink Panthers' ace raider since PKL 6.
Deepak Niwas Hooda has been Jaipur Pink Panthers' ace raider since PKL 6.

The Jaipur Pink Panthers made a massive steal when they got their former captain Deepak Niwas Hooda through the FBM card at just ₹55 lakh during the PKL Auction 2021. The kabaddi fraternity was stunned to see Deepak getting valued at such a low price. Ahead of the auction, many had expected him to be among the top-5 costliest buys.

A household name since the inaugural edition of the PKL, Deepak Niwas Hooda has been the third-highest scorer in the history of the competition, with 943 total points, 31 Super-10s, and four High-5s.

The current Indian team skipper is known for consistency in his raids as well as performing brilliantly in clinical situations. Deepak can also inflict valuable tackles from the left cover with his body blocks.

Deepak Niwas Hooda will once again don the pink jersey following the remarkable FBM move from the Jaipur Pink Panthers at the PKL auction. He will have a point to prove this year as his performance will be crucial to Jaipur's chances in PKL 8.


#2 Shrikant Jadhav (U.P. Yoddha)

U.P. Yoddha retained their sensational raider Shrikant Jadhav through the FBM card.
U.P. Yoddha retained their sensational raider Shrikant Jadhav through the FBM card.

U.P. Yoddha grabbed headlines at this year's PKL auction when they signed the 'Record-breaker' Pardeep Narwal at a whopping ₹1.65 crore - the highest sum for any player in PKL history. They didn't stop there as they bolstered their raiding unit even further by using their FBM card on Shrikant Jadhav at ₹72 lakh.

An exceptional raider who has been on the rise since PKL 5, Shrikant Jadhav has been consistent with his raiding with perfect timing and proper execution. He has improved his skillset with running hand touches, bonuses, and timely escapes. The Maharashtra-born raider has amassed 392 raid points over the past three seasons.

The team has a blockbuster raiding duo of Pardeep Narwal and Shrikant Jadhav in their ranks. They will wreak havoc together as they look to take the Uttar Pradesh-based franchise to their maiden trophy.


#1 Siddharth Desai (Telugu Titans)

Siddharth Desai will be spearheading the offense for Telugu Titans yet again.
Siddharth Desai will be spearheading the offense for Telugu Titans yet again.

Given his performances over the past two seasons, Siddharth Desai was always going to receive a fat paycheck during the PKL Auction 2021. The Telugu Titans had paid ₹1.45 crore to acquire his services last season but re-signed him at ₹1.30 crore using the FBM card, ₹15 lakh less than what they paid for him in the previous edition.

Siddharth Desai announced his arrival in style, scoring 15 raid points on debut and becoming the fastest player to score 50, 100, and 200 raid points in history. He has consistently scored over 200 raid points each season, which shows how valuable an asset he can be when it comes to scoring raid points efficiently.

The 29-year-old was the best pick at this year's auction through the FBM card, as he is someone who can single-handedly change the complexion of a match. The Telugu Titans have restored faith in their talismanic raider yet again as the team look to make it into the playoffs this time around.

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Edited by Sandeep Banerjee
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