Pro Kabaddi 2022 is set to kick off on October 7, with 12 teams battling it out to win the coveted championship. The ninth edition of PKL will take place in three cities, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune.
Like every season, the teams defensive unit will play an important role in this year’s Pro Kabaddi League. A team may have the strongest raid unit, but if the defense isn’t strong, that team might not be able to consistently win matches.
Here’s a look at the predicted quartet of defenders for each Pro Kabaddi 2022 squad.
#1 Puneri Paltan
Puneri Paltan have retained their right corner defender Sombir ahead of the PKL 2022 auction. The team’s most expensive signing Fazel Atrachali is likely to play left corner.
Pune also retained its cover duo consisting of Abinesh Nadarajan and Sanket Sawant. Therefore, the team management may not have much to think about when selecting defenders.
#2 Bengaluru Bulls
Former champions Bengaluru Bulls also retained the majority of their defenders from the previous season.
Saurabh Nandal and Aman will likely continue as corner defenders, while Mahender Singh and Mayur Kadam will serve as left and right cover defenders respectively.
#3 U Mumba
U Mumba, winner of the second season, does not have an experienced defensive unit. Retained player Rinku will continue as a right corner, but Fazel Atrachali is not part of U Mumba this year.
New defender Kiran Magar is expected to take the left corner position, while Surinder Singh and Harender Kumar could start as cover defenders.
#4 Pirates of Patna
Like Bengaluru Bulls and Puneri Paltan, Patna Pirates’ defensive line-up for Pro Kabaddi 2022 will likely be identical to the previous season.
Sunil Narwal and Mohammadreza Chiyaneh will continue as corner defenders, joined by Neeraj Kumar and Sajin C as cover defenders.
#5 UP Yoddhas
UP Yoddhas is another franchise that trusted the defensive combination of its previous season. Corner defenders Nitesh Kumar and Sumit have been selected for Pro Kabaddi 2022.
Right cover Ashu Singh and his cover partner Gurdeep are also part of the Uttar Pradesh-based franchise.
#6 Pink Panthers of Jaipur
The inaugural champions Jaipur Pink Panthers will have a new defense in Pro Kabaddi 2022. They only retained right corner Sahul Kumar from their defensive unit from their previous season.
Former Gujarat Giants captain Sunil Kumar is likely to play the right cover role for Jaipur this year, with Iranian player Reza Mirbhageri serving as his partner. Young defender Ankush Rathee could start as a left corner for Jaipur.
#7 Dabang Delhi KC
Defending champions Dabang Delhi KC let go of their experienced defenders who helped them win PKL 8. The Delhi-based franchise signed up former Jaipur Pink Panthers defenders Amit Hooda and Sandeep Dhull for the two corner positions.
Ravi Kumar and Vishal Lather are set to start as two cover defenders for Delhi in Pro Kabaddi 2022.
#8 Haryana Steelers
Haryana Steelers retained their two cover defenders – Mohit Nandal and Jaideep Dahiya – from the previous season. But they will have a new pair of corners for Pro Kabaddi 2022.
Veteran defender Joginder Narwal will likely pair up with Iranian newcomer Amirhossein Bastami in Haryana’s corner defense.
#9 Gujarat Giants
Two-time runners-up Gujarat Giants revamped their defense ahead of Pro Kabaddi 2022. They released their star duo of Parvesh Bhainswal and Sunil Kumar.
Youngsters Chang Ko and Ujjwal Singh could take both right cover and left cover positions in Gujarat’s lineup, with seasoned pros Baldev Singh and Rinku Narwal rounding out the corner defense.
#10 Bengal Warriors
Former Pro Kabaddi League winners Bengal Warriors have brought in veteran defender Surender Nada to bolster their corner defense. Nada will likely play the left corner, with Shubham Shinde being the right corner.
Versatile Ashish Sangwan and former Gujarat Giants defender Soleiman Pahlevani could complete the defensive line-up as two cover defenders.
#11 Telugu Titans
The Telugu Titans have one of the strongest defensive line-ups in Pro Kabaddi 2022. The Titans have released almost all of their defenders from last season and have invested their funds in the signing of right cover defender Surjeet Singh, from left cover Parvesh Bhainswal, from right corner Ravinder Pahal and from left corner Vishal. Bhardwaj.
All four defenders have fantastic PKL records, making Telugu Titans one of the favorites to win Pro Kabaddi 2022.
#12 Tamil Thalaivas
Tamil Thalaivas has spent majority of his auction purse to sign Pawan Sehrawat. They splurged ₹2.26 crore to sign the most successful raider of the last three PKL seasons.
Thalaivas’ defense doesn’t look solid on paper but they have a reliable right corner defender in Sagar who was among the top tackle scorers in the previous season. New player Viswanath V could play as a corner partner, while youngsters Mohit and M Abishek will likely start as cover defenders.