Pro Kabaddi 2019, Team Preview: Dabang Delhi K.C
With the announcement of the double round robin format for the new season, the VIVO Pro Kabaddi League 2019 is set to commence from 20th July 2019.
The Delhi based-franchise, Dabang Delhi K.C. had never qualified into the playoffs until season 6 when Joginder Narwal led them as the captain of the side to the playoffs.
Both Joginder and Ravinder Pahal led the defensive charge along with the agile offensive attack through Naveen Goyat and Chandran Ranjith that brought in the consistency which Delhi lacked in the previous seasons.
Ahead of the seventh season, Dabang Delhi K.C. opted to retain their core squad in the season 7 auction of Pro Kabaddi. The team management and coach Kishan Kumar Hooda showed deep faith and re-built their squad from season six while also adding some interesting players to the mix.
Meraj Sheykh has been an integral part of Dabang Delhi K.C. since season 4. The lion jump specialist was retained by the team, as they shelled 14.42% of their purse ahead of the auction. Primarily a raider, Meraj has scored 253 raid points from 53 matches for Dabang Delhi K.C.
Joining him in the raiding department will be Chandran Ranjit who was phenomenal in carrying the offensive attack for Delhi last season. He is an expert in executing the quick running hand touches and escapes. Brought back to the team using the FBM card for ₹70 lakh, Ranjit's form will be crucial to Delhi's chances.
Yet another exciting youngster, Naveen Kumar Goyat, had a phenomenal debut with Dabang Delhi K.C. as the youngest player playing in Pro Kabaddi as of last season. He scored 172 raid points in 22 matches at an average of 7.81 raid points with eight Super 10s.
The trio of Meraj, Naveen, and Chandran will lead the offensive attack for Dabang Delhi K.C. Their consistent performances will play a part in paving the team's way into the playoffs with a variety of raiding skills between the three.
Aman Kadian, Sumit Kumar, and Neeraj Narwal are other raiders who could be tested in the middle stages of the tournament depending upon how Dabang Delhi progress in the group stages.
The team bought back 'The Hawk', Ravinder Pahal for ₹61 lakh by using their FBM card, in thr process continuing the corner combination of Joginder-Ravinder for this season as well. Ravinder Pahal is known for his diving thigh holds from the right corner position and with 59 tackle points in 22 matches, Pahal will have a massive role to play in season 7.
The corner combination of Joginder-Ravinder has been a feast to the eyes for the fans lately. While Joginder Narwal is an ankle hold specialist, Ravinder Pahal is known for his diving thigh holds. The versatility in the moves allows the team to pile the pressure on the opposition raiders.
Sombir Gulia, who has shown glimpses of his brilliance while playing for the Telugu Titans will be the back-up to Ravinder Pahal along with Pratik Patil (NYP).
However, there is no replacement for Joginder Narwal in the left corner position. It could become a threat to the team if there is an injury/lack of form for Joginder in the group stages.
The team also managed to bring back their rock-solid right cover defender in Vishal Mane who is known for his dashes. He aided the corner defense and executed timely tackles in the last season and the same will be required of him this season as well.
Alongside him in the cover defense would be Anil Kumar who was a part of Telugu Titans last season. He had an impressive show as a cover defender who came in as an unrecognized talent. He will provide massive support to Ravinder Pahal's dives from the right corner position.
Mohit (right), Iranian Saeid Ghaffari (left), Satyawan (left), and Sumit (left) are the substitution choices for cover defense. It shows how the pressure of maintaining fitness level and form would be upon Vishal Mane who is also bound to play all the matches of the tournament.
Along with Meraj Sheykh and Sombir Gulia, Dabang Delhi K.C. signed Vijay at a massive bid of ₹41 lakh. He is a valuable asset to the team due to his ability to support both in the offense and defense.
Vijay has 87 raid points and 50 tackle points in 40 matches. He will be a definite choice for super substitution in case the team requires assistance from its backup. Balram will be another all-rounder who will look to leave an impression in front of his coaches and team management.
Dabang Delhi K.C. were one of the most consistent sides of Season 6 as the entire team worked well on depicting their potential to the fullest. The same side in Season 7 could become more lethal as the team's core has come together for this edition.
Injury issues mainly for Chandran Ranjit, Meraj Sheykh, and Joginder Narwal could become yet another threat for the team. The coaches and managers need to ensure that the fitness levels remain top notch ahead of the three-month-long tournament of Pro Kabaddi.
With a mix of emerging youths and experience, Dabang Delhi K.C. could indeed become one of the top favorites to win the title in season 7.
Probable starting seven for Dabang Delhi K.C. in season 7:
Ravinder Pahal (Right Corner), Naveen Goyat (Right In), Vishal Mane (Right Cover), Chandran Ranjit (Center), Anil Kumar (Left Cover), Meraj Sheykh (Left In) and Joginder Narwal (Left Corner)