Pro Kabaddi 2019: 5 players Tamil Thalaivas may release before next season

Tamil Thalaivas have been eliminated from Pro Kabaddi 2019
Tamil Thalaivas have been eliminated from Pro Kabaddi 2019

When the auction of the 2019 season of Pro Kabaddi ended, the fans and critics believed that Chennai-based Tamil Thalaivas will definitely dominate the proceedings this season.

Despite having one of the most passionate fan bases, the Tamil Thalaivas had occupied the bottom spot of the Zone B points table in Season 5 and Season 6. However, the team management made fantastic use of the budgeting techniques to buy Rahul Chaudhari, Shabeer Bappu, Mohit Chhillar and Ran Singh in the auction.

They had already retained Ajay Thakur and Manjeet Chhillar before the auction, hence the Thalaivas had a great squad for this season. But after playing only 18 of the 22 matches, the Tamil Thalaivas are already out of the race to the playoffs.

Ajay Thakur's men registered three wins in the first six matches but they have not won a single match since then. Even their coach Edachery Bhaskaran parted ways with the franchise in the middle of the season, taking the responsibility for his team's poor performance.

On having a closer look at the individual performances of Tamil Thalaivas' players, one comes to know why the team has failed miserably this season. The team owners should look forward to the next season now and try to build a fresh squad.

Here are the 5 players that Tamil Thalaivas may release before Pro Kabaddi 2020 -

#5 Ajeet

Ajeet (in chain with Mohit Chhillar)
Ajeet (in chain with Mohit Chhillar)

The weakest link of the Tamil Thalaivas side was the right cover position. The team owners had picked a host of inexperienced right cover defenders in the auction. However, none of them could deliver the goods and it won't be an understatement to say that the right cover defenders cost Tamil Thalaivas the momentum that they had generated in the initial phase of the season.

Ajay Thakur, Rahul Chaudhari and Manjeet Chhillar were scoring points but the points were leaking from the right cover position. Ajeet played at the position in 14 matches and often he was substituted before the match even ended.

He executed 51 tackles of which 38 were unsuccessful. So the team management may definitely release him before next season.

#4 Shabeer Bappu

Shabeer Bappu (in chain with Manjeet Chhillar)
Shabeer Bappu (in chain with Manjeet Chhillar)

The third wheel of the Tamil Thalaivas raiding unit, Shabeer Bappu has scored only 22 raid points in the 14 games he has featured in Season 7. These numbers are definitely not good for a player who has been a match winner in the past. Bappu has an average of a mere 1.57 raid points per match.

After comparing his stats of Season 2 with the ones from Season 7, one can say that he is a mere shadow of his former self now. He has lost his golden touch and the defenders are tackling him easily.

Though he has done well in the defence, the team wanted him to support Ajay Thakur and Rahul Chaudhari in the initial phase. Undoubtedly, he is one of the best kabaddi players in the history of the Pro Kabaddi League but it seems that just like Dabang Delhi K.C., U Mumba and Jaipur Pink Panthers, Tamil Thalaivas may look to end their association with the toe touch specialist.

#3 Ran Singh

Even Ran Singh has committed a lot of unsuccessful tackles
Even Ran Singh has committed a lot of unsuccessful tackles

Former Bengal Warriors all-rounder Ran Singh is representing the Tamil Thalaivas for the first time in Pro Kabaddi League. With an immense amount of PKL experience, Ran Singh was expected to dominate the raiders this year as well. However, Season 7 has turned out to be his worst season.

The Punjabi all-rounder has scored just 27 tackle points in 17 matches despite holding the corner position in the defensive unit. He is yet to pick up a High 5 in PKL 2019 and he has even committed 35 unsuccessful tackles much to the dismay of the fans.

In the raiding department, Singh has scored only 8 points at an average of 0.47 raid points per match. As he was bought at a hefty price of ₹55 lakhs in the auction, expect the Thalaivas to release him before the commencement of the next season.

#2 Mohit Chhillar

Mohit Chhillar did not live up to expectations
Mohit Chhillar did not live up to expectations

One of the most successful defenders in Pro Kabaddi history, Mohit Chhillar received a bid of only ₹45 lakhs in the auction where the Tamil Thalaivas snapped him up. At that moment, it looked like the Chennai-based franchise has executed the steal of the season. However, the former U Mumba star picked up only 37 tackle points in the first 17 matches.

Being one of the senior players of the team, Chhillar had the responsibility of leading the defensive unit of the franchise. He has an average of 2 tackle points per match but the most surprising stat of his season so far is his number of unsuccessful tackles.

The right corner defender has 34 unsuccessful tackles to his name and even his tackle strike rate has taken a dip this season. Hence, Tamil Thalaivas may be looking for a new right corner defender when the team owners enter the auction room next year.

#1 Manjeet Chhillar

Manjeet Chhillar led the team in Ajay Thakur's absence
Manjeet Chhillar led the team in Ajay Thakur's absence

The prime all-rounder of Tamil Thalaivas, Manjeet Chhillar had kicked off the season with a bang. He was among the top defenders of the season after the first few matches but he suffered an unfortunate injury right before the beginning of the Chennai leg. This injury issues have often had an impact on his performances and the same story transpired once again as the all-rounder struggled to trouble the raiders in the latter half.

He has had 81 tackle attempts this season of which only 35 have been successful. Both of his High 5s had come in the earlier phase of the season.

The Tamil Thalaivas should retain the services of Ajay Thakur and Rahul Chaudhari and then try to build a team around the two players. It will be interesting to see which players Tamil Thalaivas release after the season ends.

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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