Patna Pirates narrowly missed out on winning a record fourth Pro Kabaddi League championship last season. They lost to Dabang Delhi KC in the final by the smallest of margins – one point.
The Pirates will be keen to continue in the same vein in Pro Kabaddi 2022 and will want to capture another trophy in the PKL. They are the most successful team with three titles to their name, but fans should note that Patna have made it to the knockouts only once in the last three seasons.
With the aim of improving the team's consistency, the owners changed their head coach. Former coach Ram Mehar Singh has left Patna and joined Gujarat Giants, with Ravi Shetty replacing him. Patna have also signed some talented players like Rohit Gulia, Sukesh Hegde, and Sachin Tanwar ahead of PKL 2022. Here's a look at their complete squad:
Neeraj Kumar, Monu Sandhu, Mohammadreza Chiyaneh, Sajin Chandrasekar, Manish, Rohit Kumar, Ranjit Venkatramana Naik, Thiyagarajan Yuvaraj, Anuj Kumar, Naveen Sharma, Rohit Gulia, Sachin Tanwar, Sunil, Daniel Omondi Odhiambo, Abdul Insamam, Shivam Chaudhari, Anand Surendra Tomar, Vishwas, Sukesh Hegde, Sushil Gulia, and Sagar.
The squad has decent depth in both raiding and defensive units. Right cover defender Neeraj Kumar will lead the Patna Pirates in Pro Kabaddi 2022, and here are three reasons why Kumar could be the captain lifting the PKL trophy later this year.
#1 Rock-solid defensive core of Patna Pirates
Patna Pirates retained three of their four defenders who played for the team the previous season. Right cover Neeraj Kumar, left cover Sajin C, and left corner Mohammadreza Chiyaneh retained their places in the squad, while right corner Sunil Narwal was re-signed by Patna at the Pro Kabaddi 2022 Auction.
The quartet of Sunil, Chiyaneh, Neeraj, and Sajin performed exceptionally well as a group last season. If they continue with the same form in Pro Kabaddi 2022, it will be difficult to stop the Patna Pirates.
#2 Good blend of youth and experience in raiding unit
Patna have assembled a raiding trio which helped the Gujarat Giants qualify for the Pro Kabaddi final in Season 5. They re-signed Sachin Tanwar using the FBM card and added Rohit Gulia and Sukesh Hegde to the squad.
All three raiders have a decent amount of PKL experience under their belt. Having played together as a unit in the past as well, Rohit, Sukesh, and Sachin will look to perform their best and guide the Patna-based franchise to the top.
#3 All-rounder Monu Sandhu
Monu Sandhu seems a special talent whom the Patna Pirates have backed in the last two seasons. He has played 36 matches in the last two seasons for Patna, scoring 61 points.
While Monu is yet to realize his full potential in the PKL, he can play the supporting raider's role when needed and also chip in as a defender in crunch moments. If Patna's new management uses Monu Sandhu well, he could prove to be the X-factor of the franchise.