PKL 2019: Patna Pirates out to exorcise season six ghosts

PKL's most successful franchise, Patna Pirates, with three titles, opted to pick many uncapped players. But does that seal the gaping hole at the bottom of its ship?

Despite the presence of experienced campaigners in Surender Nada, Jaideep and Jawahar Dagar, defence has often been Patna Pirates' weak spot.

Despite the presence of experienced campaigners in Surender Nada, Jaideep and Jawahar Dagar, defence has often been Patna Pirates' weak spot.   -  Twitter/@PatnaPirates

Aarrr! Patna Pirates will have revenge on its mind when it climbs aboard season seven of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL). An early ouster last season forced the team management to hit the reset button at the auctions. Retaining only poster boy Pardeep Narwal, defender Jawahar Dagar, and all-rounder Vikas Jaglan, Patna Pirates, PKL's most successful franchise with three titles, opted to pick many uncapped players. But does that seal the gaping hole at the bottom of its ship?

The raiders: Ashish, Jang Kun Lee, Mohammad Esmaeil Maghsoudlou Mahalli, Mohit, Naveen, Pardeep Narwal, Purna Singh and Rajveersinh Pratap Rao Chavan

Patna will have to once again rely heavily on Dubki King Pardeep to start off from where he left last season. Pardeep has been the side's best raider to date and to put things into perspective, 11.09 of the 22.55 points Patna managed to scored at an average per game last season was claimed by the 22 year-old.

Patna's raiding this season will be further bolstered with the inclusion of the electric Jang Kun Lee, who had featured for Bengal Warriors since PKL 2. The South Korean’s skills in martial arts give him the upper hand on the mat, his agility rendering most defenders harmless. Mostly a raider, he has a solid defensive game too.

READ: PKL 2019: All the final squads for the upcoming season

Iran's Mohammad Esmaeil Maghsoudlou Mahalli, who was part of the team that pipped India and went on to win the gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games, will also be sporting green and yellow for his maiden PKL outing. It will be interesting to watch out for his contribution to the side. Having said that, a major issue for the side to address would be the lack of an experienced bench to take the side forward in case of an unprecedented injury.

The defenders: Mahendra Choudhary, Neeraj Kumar, Jaideep, Surender Nada, Bintu Narwal, and Jawahar Dagar

Despite the presence of experienced campaigners in Surender Nada, Jaideep and Jawahar Dagar, defence has often been Patna Pirates' weak spot. The team ended up conceding 835 points last season, only second to UP Yoddhas' 847.

ALSO READ: PKL 2019: Determined Dabang Delhi looks set to take things a step further

While Surender will most likely guard the left corner, Dagar would be the one on the right corner. That, however, casts a doubt on Jaideep’s role. While he could be brought in as the specialist left cover, which the team lacks, the change in position could prove to be tough to adapt to. Neeraj Kumar, who went for the highest bid on day two of the auctions at 44.75 lakh rupees, will be Patna’s pick for right cover.

 

The all-rounders: Hadi Oshtorak, Ravinder, Sahil Mann, and Vikas Jaglan

Iranian Hadi Oshtorak is a menace on the mat - his uses his signature block to perfection to pin down the best of raiders in the league. A quality raider as well, he maintains an excellent strike rate of 50. Vikas Jaglan too, has shown his calibre in the last two seasons, so a place in the starting seven shouldn’t be a concern. It remains to be seen whether Ravinder and Sahil Mann, the other uncapped all-rounders, can prove their mettle if and when they are fielded.

Patna Pirates full schedule

July 20: Bengaluru Bulls vs Patna Pirates

July 26: Telugu Titans vs Patna Pirates

July 29: Tamil Thalaivas vs Patna Pirates

August 3: Patna Pirates vs Jaipur Pink Panthers

August 4: Patna Pirates vs Puneri Paltan

August 7: Patna Pirates vs Haryana Steelers

August 9: Patna Pirates vs UP Yoddha

August 16: U Mumba vs Patna Pirates

August 22: Bengal Warriors vs Patna Pirates

August 23: Gujarat FortuneGiants vs Patna Pirates

August 30: Dabang Delhi vs Patna Pirates

September 4: Bengaluru Bulls vs Patna Pirates

September 6: Patna Pirates vs UP Yoddha

September 9: Tamil Thalaivas vs Patna Pirates

September 12: Jaipur Pink Panthers vs Patna Pirates

September 15: Puneri Paltan vs Patna Pirates

September 20: Telugu Titans vs Patna Pirates

September 23: Patna Pirates vs Haryana Steelers

September 26: Patna Pirates vs Dabang Delhi

October 2: U Mumba vs Patna Pirates

October 5: Gujarat FortuneGiants vs Patna Pirates

October 6: Bengal Warriors vs Patna Pirates