All-time Playing 7 of The Current PKL Champions: Bengal Warriors

Bengal Warriors with the PKL 7 trophy
Bengal Warriors team with the PKL 7 trophy                 Image credits: Deccan Chronicle 

Bengal Warriors started their Pro Kabaddi League journey quite slowly as the Kolkata-based franchise took some time to find its feet in the competition. They only managed to win eight matches in the first two seasons. However, they got their big breakthrough in the third season as Bengal qualified for the semifinals. Although they could not win the league, they established themselves as one of the top contenders.

In season five, Bengal Warriors topped the Zone B points table, and two years later, they secured their maiden Pro Kabaddi League championship under the leadership of Coach BC Ramesh. The Warriors have qualified for the second round in four of the last five seasons, highlighting the significant improvement in their playing style.
Earlier, Bengal focused majorly on the defensive unit, but after Maninder Singh’s arrival, the team has played with an attacking mindset.


The picks

Maninder Singh is the obvious pick for the all-time seven of Bengal Warriors. The former Jaipur Pink Panthers raider has played three seasons for the Warriors and has scored at least 190 raid points per season. He has crossed the 200 raid points landmark in the last two seasons, and his performances have played a massive role in the team’s rise.

The top pick in the defensive unit is PO Surjeet Singh. The right cover defender was the captain of Bengal Warriors once upon a time. Before being released by the team, Surjeet scored 130 tackle points. He is the all-time highest tackle points scorer for Bengal Warriors.

 


The debate

Starting with the raiders first, Maninder Singh will undoubtedly lead the raiding attack of Bengal Warriors’ all-time seven. He will have the back of Jang Kun Lee in the raiding unit. The South Korean raider earned a lot of fame because of his extraordinary performances for Bengal and has been the most successful Korean player in Pro Kabaddi League history.

Jang Kun Lee was a part of Bengal Warriors from the first season, and the team retained him until the sixth edition of the league. The kick specialist scored 411 raid points for the Warriors. Besides, he finished fifth on the raiders’ leaderboard of Pro Kabaddi season 3.

For the third raider’s spot, there’s a three-way fight between K Prapanjan, Nitin Madane, and Nitin Tomar. Prapanjan supported Maninder Singh to perfection in the last season. His 102 raid points in 20 games assisted the Bengal Warriors in winning their first PKL trophy.

Nitin Madane was the biggest star for Bengal Warriors in the first season. Although the team could not win many matches, Madane scored 101 raid points in 12 games. He could not play the second and the third season, while in season four, he made an underwhelming return to PKL. Playing 13 matches for the Warriors, Madane could only score 51 raid points at an average of 3.92.

Nitin Tomar began his Pro Kabaddi League career as a part of Bengal Warriors in season three. He was one of the primary reasons behind the team’s turnaround then. Tomar scored 77 raid points in 10 matches, including a couple of Super 10s. However, since K Prapanjan’s performances had the maximum impact on the team’s performance, he takes up the third raider’s spot.

Speaking of the all-rounders now, there is only one all-rounder who deserves to be in Bengal Warriors’ all-time seven, and he is Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh. The Iranian all-rounder will play at the left corner position of this team. In his debut season last year, Mohammad aggregated 122 points in 23 matches. He scored 92 raid points and 30 tackle points, including one Super ten and a high 5.
The two slots remaining in this team are left cover and right corner. For the right corner position, there are two choices - Nilesh Shinde and Baldev Singh. Shinde played four seasons for Bengal Warriors before moving to Dabang Delhi KC. In those four tournaments, Nilesh scored 115 tackle points for Bengal. He was the best defender of the team and also had the responsibility of leading the squad.

On the other hand, Baldev Singh has scored 93 tackle points in two seasons. Like Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh, he made a significant impact after joining the team. Since the team benefited a lot because of Singh’s consistency, he takes up the right corner position.

Lastly, for the left cover position, there’s no better option than Ran Singh. He has been Bengal’s most successful all-rounder. Singh played for Tamil Thalaivas last year, but when he was a part of the Kolkata-based PKL team, he scored 135 points, and a majority of them came in the defense.


Playing Seven Stats for Bengal Warriors

Left Corner - Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh
Matches - 23, Total Points - 122, Tackle Points - 30 

Left In - K Prapanjan
Matches - 20, Raid Points - 102

Left Cover - Ran Singh
Matches - 55, Total Points - 135, Tackle Points - 94

Center - Maninder Singh
Matches - 63, Raid Points - 601

Right Cover - PO Surjeet Singh
Matches - 57, Tackle Points - 130

Right In - Jang Kun Lee
Matches - 90, Raid Points - 411

Right Corner - Baldev Singh
Matches - 42, Tackle Points - 93


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