Patna Pirates- A successful season after assembling a moneyball team
When the Patna Pirates decided to move on from Pardeep Narwal at the auction of the Pro Kabaddi League, a lot of eyebrows were raised as they gambled on a new strategy instead of a tried and tested one. The team management led by coach Ram Meher Singh had faith in their new set of players and that reflected in the performance on the mat. The green brigade finished as runners-up as they fell short by a solitary point in this year’s final against the Dabang Delhi.
The team finished with 16 wins in 22 matches in the league stage and were dominant throughout the tournament in spite of being hit by covid in the mid-season which saw a postponement of many of their matches. One of the biggest strengths of the 3-time champions was their teamwork. The franchise wasn’t dependent on any single player and that was reflected in the raiding as well as a defensive unit.
Sachin Tanwar was the only raider who was ranked in the top 20 leading raid point-scorers and yet the team was ranked second in the overall raiding tally. They scored 1014 raid points and were just a point behind the U.P. Yoddha. Guman Singh was the star of the pack in the latter half as Monu Goyat’s form dipped.
Mohammadreza Chiyaneh was the star of the defence as the Iranian was dominant against the all the opponents. He made 86 successful tackles in this season of the Pro Kabaddi League and was the best defender. He was supported ably by Neeraj Kumar and Sunil and the variety across the Pirates team was their strength.
At times, Monu goyat’s performances were a cause of concern for the franchise but for INR 30 lakhs, Goyat was the moneyball pick of the Pirates.