Pro Kabaddi League Season 7: Team analysis of Bengaluru Bulls
Defending champions Bengaluru Bulls came into the Pro Kabaddi League auction 2019 with a majority of their core from last season held back as the likes of Pawan Sehrawat, Rohit Kumar and Ashish Sangwan were retained from the 'Elite Players' list.
Apart from the trio, the Bulls also opted to keep faith in talented left corner defender Amit Sheoran and Sumit Malik, both of whom had a decent outing in the sixth season. Sheoran, in particular, featured in most games for the Bulls as he notched up 38 points from 15 games and could prove to be a game changer in the seventh season.
How did the auctions pan out for the Bengaluru Bulls?
The Bulls seemed crystal clear in their strategy to re-build their squad from last season as they let the big Iranian names go by and instead roped in the services of all-rounder Sanjay Shreshta (₹10 lakh) and Nepal's Lal Mohar Yadav (₹10 lakh) from the foreign players' category.
With an option to exercise one 'Final Bid Match' card, the Bengaluru Bulls waited patiently as the category 'A' defenders list came up and as Mahender Singh's name came up for the auction, suddenly all the focus was on the Bulls' table.
The Telugu Titans, understanding Mahender's credentials from last season, raised their opening bid to ₹75 lakh as they fought for the youngster's services with the Bengal Warriors and the Jaipur Pink Panthers.
However, as the Titans received applause for their final bid of ₹80 lakh, the Bengaluru Bulls already had their 'FBM' card up in the air and with that, re-signed their defensive mainstay from last season for ₹80 lakh.
Post the signing of young Mahender Singh, the rest of the auction was only about plugging the loopholes for the Bulls as they re-signed the likes of corner defenders Raju Lal Chaudary (₹10 lakh) Sandeep (₹10 lakh).
It was only when lanky defender Vijay Kumar's name came up that the Bulls were involved in a tussle to sign the player, as they finally landed the decisive bid at ₹21.25 lakh, adding yet another impressive corner defender to their ranks.
Through Vinod Kumar (₹10 lakh) and youngster Aman (₹6 lakh), the Bulls signed off from the season seven auctions, having managed to build a solid core for the upcoming season.
What are some problems they could face?
The Bengaluru Bulls boast of two of the best raiders in the competition through Pawan Kumar Sehrawat and Rohit Kumar but lack a quality raider who can back the duo in times of peril.
Last season, Kashiling Adake was a useful back-up while Harish Naik chipped in. But with the Bulls retaining only Sumit Malik and roping in Vinod Kumar, the third raider's spot could be a cause of concern if either of the two stars up front face an injury concern.
Bengaluru Bulls full squad:
Raiders: Rohit Kumar (C), Pawan Kumar Sehrawat, Sumit Malik, Vinod Kumar, Lal Mohar Yadav, Banty.
All-Rounders: Ashish Kumar Sangwan, Sanjay Shreshta.
Defenders: Mahender Singh, Amit Sheoran, Raju Lal Chaudhary, Sandeep, Vijay Kumar, Aman, Mohit Sehrawat.