Tamil Thalaivas have been the least successful team in the history of the Pro Kabaddi League. They joined the league in the fifth season, but are yet to qualify for the playoffs even once. Despite assembling strong squads at the auction, the Chennai-based franchise have always finished in the bottom two of the points table.
Speaking of their performances in the previous PKL season, the Tamil Thalaivas started well but finished 11th in the points table, with only five wins in 22 games. Notably, six of their fixtures ended in a tie. A win in those games would have helped the Thalaivas make it to the next round.
Courtesy of their disappointing finish last season, Tamil Thalaivas released their captain Surjeet Singh and star raiders Manjeet and K Prapanjan. They submitted a record bid worth ₹2.26 crore to rope in the league's top raider Pawan Sehrawat at the PKL 2022 Auction.
The Thalaivas also have some other big names in their squad. Here is the full list of Tamil Thalaivas players for PKL 9:
Sagar, Jatin, Himanshu, Narender, Pawan Sehrawat, Thanushan Laxmamohan, Md. Arif Rabbani, Ajinkya Ashok Pawar, Abhishek M, Himanshu, Himanshu Singh, Mohit, Ashish, Sahil, Visvanath V, Arpit Saroha, K Abhimanyu, and Ankit.
Some fans feel that the Thalaivas will be over-reliant on Pawan Sehrawat this year, but here are three reasons why the Chennai-based franchise has a big chance of winning PKL 2022.
#1 Pawan Sehrawat
The biggest reason why Tamil Thalaivas are likely to have their most successful Pro Kabaddi League season ever is the presence of Pawan Sehrawat. They splurged more than ₹2 crore from their auction purse to rope in the Hi-Flier.
Sehrawat has been in splendid form over the last three seasons. He has ended as the number one raider in Pro Kabaddi seasons six, seven and eight. Pawan has also done a superb job as the captain of Indian Railways in the Senior National Kabaddi Championships.
The Thalaivas have named him their captain for Pro Kabaddi 2022. If Pawan continues to perform the way he has in the last few seasons, it should not be a surprise if the Chennai-based franchise capture their maiden PKL trophy.
#2 Talented pool of youngsters
Last season's Pro Kabaddi League was dominated by youngsters. Several new players made their presence felt with their exceptional performances. The same trend should continue this year as well, and Tamil Thalaivas could be the team that unearths some new talent.
In a recent interview with Sportskeeda, the team's captain Pawan Sehrawat commented on the challenges that the youngsters present in their squad and said:
"No special challenge as such just that I have to play with some young players so I will have to make them understand a few things. Their grasping power is good.
"So the challenge is that they will have to prove on the mat that they heard whatever I said."
#3 X-factor Sagar Rathee
Sagar Rathee was the most successful Indian defender in the previous PKL season. He scored 82 tackle points in 22 games, playing a pivotal role in the Chennai-based franchise's success.
The team retained him ahead of the Pro Kabaddi 2022 season. With Pawan Sehrawat present to support him this year, Sagar will be keen to continue his top form and boost the team's chances of winning the trophy.