Arguably the best batsman in cricket, Sachin Tendulkar's forays into other sports as team owner are yet to inspire the same confidence as his trademark front foot punch down the ground did for more than two decades. Tendulkar would definitely like to change that and his ownership in Tamil Nadu seemed like a step in the right direction. After all, the game is huge in the state. Moreover, teams based in Chennai have traditionally fared well in sporting leagues across the country.
The auctions, however, might have brought the little master face to face with the demons of nervous nineties all over again. At the auctions, the Thalaivas management picked a star as the priority player but seemed to have missed a trick by failing to supplement him with other quality players to build a formidable side.
Having said that, the history of the league admonishes any observer that one must never discount the rookies in the Pro Kabaddi. And with the long history of the game in the state as well as richly experienced Bhaskaran as the Thalaivas coach, there is more excitement than nervousness among the owners and viewers about the team’s prospects in their debut season.
The team, however, largely revolves around a few experienced names and the onus will be on these players to lead the team into the playoffs. These are the five Thalaivas the team will look forward to lead them to glory:
#1 Ajay Thakur
You don't have to look much beyond the 2016 World Cup to understand why the auctions went into a state of frenzy when Thakur's name came up. That Tamil Thalaivas managed to buy his services ended up merely a secondary fact, such was the rush to buy him. Thakur has been around for some time on the Pro Kabaddi stage but hasn't exactly produced the kind of performance that he showcased on the World Cup stage. It's not too difficult to track down the reasons for the same.
The Pro Kabaddi put many a star together on the same team. While it enhanced the game of some, some struggled to come to terms with it. Having said that, the 31-year-old doesn't possess a mean record by any measure and buoyed by the World Cup success can only be expected to better it in a team where he for once is in the lead cast and not the supporting ensemble.