Puneri Paltan has built yet another complete squad on paper. The highlight of the squad is that no player is over 61 Lakhs. This is likely to lend a balance to the player dynamics which often translates into better performance on the mat.
Led by coach Anup Kumar, this squad has all necessary elements to make it to the playoffs in Pro Kabaddi in my opinion.
- Corners are the bastion of the Puneri Paltan defense. With Baldev Singh, PKL7's most valuable defender manning the right corner and his compatriot from Himachal Pradesh Vishal Bharadwaj in the left corner, Puneri Paltan have debatably the best corner defense this season. With both players at 60 lakhs, there is an economic balance that might lend itself beautifully to create a working Kabaddi defense. In the auctions, strangely, the Paltans continued to secure more right corners in Sombir (plays for Services), Hadi Tajik, and E Subash. The right corner is arguably the most important defense position given the series of brilliant right raiders in Pawan Sehrawat, Naveen Kumar, and Arjun Deshwal; still, you can't play more than one right corner in a match!
- Tested and working covers. In Jadhav Balasaheb (left cover) and Sanket Savant (right cover), Puneri Paltan have retained two young Maharashtrian covers. With few cover defenders available in the auction, these were valuable retainments. They also secured Abhinesh Natarajan who plays on the right cover for SAI. However, an injury to the covers might prove costly.
- Balanced raid unit. They used the FBM on Nitin Tomar at 61 Lakhs. Nitin Tomar, a left raider, scores on an average at 6-7 points and is a bonus expert. In Panjak Mohite, they have a brilliant young right raider who can win matches single-handedly. He is skillful and innovative and can prove to be a match-winner. They also secured showman Rahul Chaudhary at 40 Lakhs. He can take oppositions to an all-out given the right confidence. They lapped up Mohit Goyat, the raid machine from K7s Kabaddi in the NYP draft. Mohit, a right raider, scored a massive 179 points in 13 matches is a team player with the makings of a future leader. In Pawan Kadiyan, they have another raider who could prove to be a match-winner on his day. His brilliant raiding in Gotegaon, took apart the strong Northern Railways.
- Coach Anup Kumar needs to prove his mettle. The auctions are done. Players and backups for every position bought. Now the ball is in Anup's court to make this squad work.
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Puneri Paltan Full Squad for Pro Kabaddi 8
- Baldev Singh (60 L)
- Vishal Bharadwaj (60 L)
- Hadi Tajik (16 L)
- Karamvir (10 L)
- Sombir (34.5 L)
- E Subash (10 L)