Pro Kabaddi League 2023: SWOT Analysis of Siddharth Desai's new home Haryana Steelers
North-Indian Pro Kabaddi League outfit Haryana Steelers will be back for redemption in PKL 10 after finishing at the bottom half of points table last year. The Steelers finished one place below Neighbours Dabang Delhi at No.7, missing out the play-offs by just 2 points.
Haryana had a scarcity of players who could perform well under pressure and nervy situations. In some matches last season, Haryana made a habit of throwing their lead away to opposition sides to eventually lose those matches.
But with a new season comes a new hope for Haryana under the coaching of Manpreet Singh, the man who guided Gujarat Giants to back to back Finale appearances in Season 5 & 6. However, his team could only win the Silver medal and this season, Manpreet has his sights set on winning the coveted trophy.
Bahubali Raider Siddharth Desai became Haryana's Top buy for 1 Crores but how well have they done this Auction? Let's find out in Kabaddi Adda's SWOT analysis of Haryana Steelers.
Going by the composition of Haryana Steelers' squad, they have stacked up their 21-man squad mainly with Defenders. And going by the track record and numbers of their retained as well bought defenders, Haryana Steelers have their strength in Defense.
Even at the time of retention, Manpreet Singh focused kept more defenders than raiders as he retained 2 raiders and 6 defenders - 4 Covers and 2 Corners.
Their defense scored a combined 138 Tackle points in PKL 9 with Jaydeep Dahiya (L.Cov) scoring 54 tackle points, Mohit Nandal (R.Cov) 44 TP, Monu Hooda (R.Corner)17 TP, Naveen Kundu (L.Corner) 9 TP, Harsh (L.Cov) 5 TP and Sunny Sehrawat (R.Cov) 9 TP.
In terms of defenders bought - Rahul Sethpal amassed 16 tackle points in PKL 9, Himanshu Choudhary who shined in the recent Yuva Kabaddi Series edition scored 34 tackle points and Mohit took 32 tackle points with Tamil Thalaivas last year.
Another plus point is the inclusion of All-Rounder Ashish who scored 97 Raid points and 23 tackle points with U Mumba last year. He can certainly help the defense when required and lastly 1 Crore buy Siddharth Desai will boost the raiding department.
Haryana's apparent weakness lies in the raiding department to some extent. They currently have 9 raiders and only 4 of them have prior experience of the Pro Kabaddi League. And 2 out of those 4 are Vinay and K Prapanjan who were retained during the Player retention process.
They shared only 73 raid points between them which is less than what 62 Lakh buy Chandran Ranjit scored last year with Gujarat Giants, 95 raid points. He will find Bahubali Desai as the main raider of the team who scored 142 raid points in 17 matches but his team finished 12th in the standings.
It should also be noted that Desai sustained an injury to miss the final stretch of Season 9 and he will be back after a long lay-off so it is uncertain if Siddharth will be in good form. Among the other newly bought Raiders - Ghanshyam Magar and Iran's Hasan Balbool lack experience and therefore Haryana's back up raiders could be a weakness.
Retained raiders Vinay and Prapanjan will have to do well to support Desai and Chandran Ranjit upfront. They also have just one Overseas player and one all-rounder.
All of Haryana Steelers' New Young player signings before the auction - Shivam Patare (R), Vishal Tate (R), NS Jayasoorya (R) and Hardeep Ranbir (D) all of whom featured in YKS will definitely have a great opportunity to show their skillset and become a regular starter for Manpreet Singh.
Other than them, new buys Himanshu Choudhary (Left Corner) and All-rounder Ashish also come up as a ray of hope for Haryana. Himanshu recently featured for Aravalli Arrows during Yuva Kabaddi Series Winter edition 2022 where he racked up 34 tackle points in 20 matches with a successful tackle rate of 36.78%.
All-Rounder Ashish on the other hand could prove to be a major asset as he scored 120 points in Season 9 including 97 Raid points and 23 tackle points for U Mumba.
Clearly lack of efficient back up raiders could be a weak link in their side and also Siddharth Desai is returning from a lengthy injury lay-off so there will be doubts regarding his form.
And what if Desai gets injured again, who will be the one to stand up for Haryana? Dabang Delhi, UP Yoddhas and Tamil Thalaivas could pose a Threat when Pro Kabaddi League 10 starts from 2nd December.
Haryana Steelers 21-man squad:
Vinay, K. Prapanjan, Siddharth Sirish Desai, Chandran Ranjit, Ghanshyam Roka Magar, Hasan Balbool, Shivam Anil Patare, Vishal S. Tate, Jaya Soorya NS
Naveen, Harsh, Mohit, Monu, Sunny, Jaideep, Mohit, Rahul Sethpal, Hardeep, Himanshu Choudhary, Ravindra Chouhan