Pro Kabaddi League Season 7: Team analysis of Dabang Delhi K.C
For a team that had consistently failed to find a place in the knockout stages of the Pro Kabaddi League, the sixth season brought about with it a wind of change as Dabang Delhi K.C made it to the playoffs of the competition for the first time in six seasons.
As they brainstormed for a change in their algorithm toward success, their only retention ahead of the season six auctions was skipper Meraj Sheykh. From the auctions, 'The Eagles' picked up big names such as Joginder Narwal, Ravinder Pahal, and Vishal Mane to rely on their defensive might for the season.
However, it was their acquisition of lesser-known raiders such as young Naveen, Chandran Ranjit that made the difference and with the captaincy burden off Meraj Sheykh's shoulders, the Iranian had turned over a new leaf.
With a core in place that brought them unparalleled success last season, Dabang Delhi K.C retained the trio of skipper Joginder Narwal, Meraj Sheykh, and Naveen. Yet, it was all a clever ploy that played into their hands at the auction table.
How did the auctions pan out for Dabang Delhi?
The foreign category did not interest a lot of the Dabang Delhi management's attention as the lone purchase from that category was of Meraj Sheykh's compatriot Saeed Ghaffari, a well-known defender for a sum of ₹16.5 lakh.
Just as was expected from Dabang Delhi, their focus was fixed on getting back the services of two men who did extremely well for them last season, Ravinder Pahal and Chandran Ranjit.
First on the list of Category 'A' defenders, Pahal garnered interest from the Fortunegiants and the Tamil Thalaivas as Dabang Delhi watched from close quarters. Soon enough, the Steelers jumped in with a ₹50 lakh bid at which time, Dabang Delhi knew that they had the right man. The Thalaivas closed the bid at ₹61 lakh but as was the plan all along, the 'Final Bid Match' card brought Ravinder Pahal back to the Dabang Delhi roster.
With the first strategy successful, Delhi now took the backseat until Chandran Ranjit's came up on the screen. Ranjit found a lot of interest from the Puneri Paltan, Tamil Thalaivas, and the Telugu Titans but in the end, Dabang Delhi utilized their final 'FBM' card to bring back the services of Ranjit for ₹70 lakh.
At the expense of two 'FBM' cards, Dabang Delhi had two mainstays back in their squad and with the signing of all-rounder Vijay Malik (₹41 lakh) and Vishal Mane (₹28.5 lakh), Delhi had done extremely well to add a fiercer look to their defensive unit.
With the core of the team wearing a similar outlook to the previous season, Delhi spent the last of their cash in hand to purchase some exciting talent as Anil Kumar (₹20 lakh), Sombir (₹10 lakh), Satywan (₹6 lakh), and Pratik Patel (₹6 lakh) were some of their other purchases from the two-day auction.
Krishan Kumar Hooda, Dabang Delhi's chief coach was thrilled at the purchases made and said, "The strategy we had planned worked very well for us. I would love to state that our auction plan was a 100% success and we have no regrets whatsoever."
"The main idea was to retain the core of the team which did really well for us last season," Hooda was quoted saying as he added "We have an excellent team in place for the seventh season and we are confident to perform well."
What could be some of the problems Dabang Delhi might face?
As far as Dabang Delhi's journey in the Pro Kabaddi League goes, it has been dented by inconsistencies and while the team has boasted of a star-studded outfit, the inability of the big players to stitch individual performances to lift the team has gone missing. Having said that, Dabang Delhi yet again has a team full of stars and will look to reverse their fortunes.
Dabang Delhi full squad: (Excluding NYPs)
Raiders: Naveen, Chandran Ranjit, Neeraj Narwal, Aman Kadian, Sumit Kumar.
All-Rounders: Meraj Sheykh, Vijay Malik.
Defenders: Joginder Narwal (C), Ravinder Pahal, Vishal Mane, Saeed Ghaffari, Pratik Patil, Sombir, Satywan, Anil Kumar.