Runners-up Dabang Delhi, led by Dronacharya Awardee and coach Krishan Kumar Hooda, has retained raiders Naveen Goyat and Neeraj Narwal and, All-Rounder Vijay. Naveen Kumar was one of three raiders to cross the milestone of 300 points in PKL7 along with Pawan Sehrawat and Pardeep Narwal. Naveen has been retained by Delhi for a measly 37.5 Lakhs given his NYP status. This will give a head start to Delhi, given teams spend on an average 66 Lakhs of their purse on their main raiders. Naveen Kumar plays for Air Force and recently had represented the team in Gotegaon where he led his team to the finals. Vijay is another key member of the PKL7 squad and he can fill in the shoes of the 3rd raider and a strong support defender.
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That said, Naveen Kumar was supported by the two corners - captain and left corner Joginder Singh Narwal, who groomed the young Naveen into a match-winning raider and Ravinder Pahal. Right corner Pahal has proved to be a nemesis for Naveen Kumar in Senior Nationals with Pahal having the last laugh in both 67th and 68th Senior Nationals. By not retaining both these stalwarts, Coach Hooda will have to rebuild the defense in the auctions. Interestingly, in Gotegaon it was Dabang Delhi NYPs Sumit Kumar and Mohit who ably stopped Naveen Kumar. The Dabang Delhi strategy seems clear - anybody who can stop Naveen, please join our squad. This means Ravinder Pahal might be top FBM candidate for Krishan Hooda.
Another key player who took away the pressure from young Naveen in PKL7 was Keralite Chandran Ranjith. Ranjith consistently picked up points ensuring Dabang Delhi got into the fewest Do-or-Die raid situations. Coach Hooda will have to create a strong support raider for Naveen to avoid getting into 'Patna Pirates' helpless situation.
Will coach Hooda, discover another hidden gem through the NYPs he picks in the off-season? All-in-all Dabang Delhi will look to build a strong defense and get an able captain in the PKL8 auctions.
Purse left : 320 Lakhs for at least 12 players
Retained Players :
1. Raiding superstar, Naveen Goyat (37.5 Lakhs)
2. All-rounder, Vijay (45.1 Lakhs)
3. Raider, Neeraj Narwal
Likely FBM Candidates :
1. Right Corner, Ravinder Pahal
2. Right Corner, Sombir
3. Captain Joginder Narwal