Pro Kabaddi League 2019 Team Preview: Gujarat Fortune Giants
Gujarat Fortune Giants is a team which has emerged as one of the most competitive teams built on strengthening their defence which has taken them to two VIVO Pro Kabaddi finals consecutively.
The runners-up of Season 5 and Season 6 could start their campaign as one of the strong contenders from Zone A in the upcoming edition of the Pro Kabaddi League.
Sachin Tanwar has scored 349 raid points and 14 Super 10s out of 47 matches for Fortune Giants, thus making him the priority retention which the Gujarat-based outfit used ahead of the auctions.
They also retained their Season 6 captain, Sunil Kumar Malik, who has scored 133 tackle points with six High 5s out of 49 matches.
Retaining Sunil Kumar meant that they had no intentions of leaving Parvesh Bhainswal behind and so the management used FBM card on him at an enormous price of ₹75 lakhs to keep their core intact.
Parvesh Bhainswal scored 31.37% of Gujarat Fortune Giants' tackle points (86 points) and ended his campaign as the second-best defender of Season 6.
The cover duo of Sunil and Parvesh will once again be the highlight of Gujarat's defence. The combination tackle consisting of Parvesh's upper body block combined with Sunil's thigh hold has trapped some of the top raiders and is what makes them a successful defensive pair as of now.
Coach Manpreet Singh has always believed in strengthening the team by nurturing fierce newcomers and showing limelight to them on a bigger platform. He has always identified the true potential of each player which is why Gujarat Fortune Giants has become one of the most consistent sides in PKL.
The management bought back Ruturaj Koravi for ₹30.5 lakhs who performed wonderfully in his debut season (47 tackle points in 23 matches). Supporting him in the left corner would be an NYP player hailing from Haryana, Sonu Gahlawat who executes moves like ankle hold and thigh hold with perfection.
Sachin Tanwar will have decent support in the raiding from GB More, a skillful raider from the Services board who was Puneri's dependable raider for the last two seasons.
More has 93 raid points in 28 matches and will be a foundation to Sachin's raiding support. The Iranian Abolfazl Maghsoudloumahali who loves using toe touches and steals bonus points will also join Gujarat's offensive lineup.
Gujarat have signed three quality all-rounders who are capable of turning matches single-handedly. Pankaj, who played for UP Yoddha in Season 5, is a defensive all-rounder who can slot in at left corner.
Vinod Kumar who was a part of U Mumba in Season 6 can also assist in both raids and defence. Rohit Gulia will once again take up the mantle in the do or die situations with his running hand touches.
The raiding forces include Abhishek (NYP), Lalit Chaudhary, Sonu, Gulvinder Singh, and raiding all-rounder Mohammad Hossain from Bangladesh. However, the offence will be dependent upon how the season goes for Sachin Tanwar as the team will expect him to lead upfront in all 22 matches of the group stages. Any injury or lack of form could hurt Fortune Giants in the raiding department.
The team also spent ₹17.25 lakhs on a right cover defender namely Amit Kharb. Fans will be keen to see what plans do the coaches have for Amit Kharb as Sunil Kumar will take the position as the team's primary right cover defender.
On paper, Gujarat Fortune Giants look a less experienced side which was also estimated to be one of their biggest threats in the past two seasons.
However, the lack of experienced players also reduces the chances of injuries which uplifts the team's consistency in a three-month tournament like the PKL.
Gujarat Fortune Giants have what it takes to qualify for the playoffs this time around as well. The test will be that if they can keep their nerves intact in knockout matches, they could perhaps win their maiden title in Season 7.
Probable Playing 7 for Gujarat Fortune Giants in Season 7:
Ruturaj Koravi (Right Corner), Vinod Kumar (Right In), Sunil Kumar (Right Cover), Sachin Tanwar (Center), Parvesh Bhainswal (Left Cover), GB More (Left In) and Sonu Gahlawat (Left Corner)