India’s second most watched league Pro Kabaddi League is back with its 9th edition from October 7th, 2022.
After an auction which saw records breaking left, right and centre, all the 12 franchises are having a new look from the change in players to coaching personnel.
We take a look at how Bengaluru Bulls line up for the upcoming season.
Last Season Review
Bengaluru Bulls were one of the teams which reached the semi-finals of season 8 and lost to the eventual champions Dabang Delhi.
Bengaluru started the season well and rode on the raiding abilities of Pawan Sehrawat and the defensive prowess of Saurabh Nandal but their inconsistency cost them a place directly in the semi-finals.
PKL 9- Squad Changes
Bengaluru Bulls started the auction process shocker when they didn’t retain the best raider of the league Pawan Sehrawat. Fans were in shock given the inspiring performances of Pawan and his close relationship with coach Ranjeet Sehrawat.
Bengaluru brought in former Haryana Steelers captain Vikas Kandola for 1.7 crores. They also managed to secure the services of Neeraj Narwal who won PKL with Dabang Delhi in season 8, playing a crucial role as a substitute.
Apart from the addition of two raiders, Bengaluru has retained the previous year’s breakout star, Bharat along with the experienced defensive duo of Saurabh and Aman who were crucial cogs last season.
Bengaluru also retained veteran defender Mahender Singh and GB More who has evolved himself as an all-rounder.
The Bulls added some young names such as Sudhakar Kadam, Lal Manohar Yadav, and Rahul Khatik and retained Rajnes, Vinod, and Yash Hooda.
Bengaluru Bulls Full Squad-
Retained Players: Mayur Kadam, Yash Hooda, Rohit Kumar, Mahender Singh, GB More, Saurabh Nandal, Aman, Vinod Lachmayya Naik, Bharat, and Rajnesh.
Auction Buys: Vikash Khandola, Nageshor Tharu, Lal Mohar Yadav, Sachin Narwal, Rahul Khatik, Sudhakar Krishanth Kadam, Neeraj Narwal, and Harmanjit Singh.
PKL 9 Preview- Strength and Weakness
Strength- Bengaluru has a compact raiding unit at the moment with Vikas Kandola leading it and ably supported by Bharat Naresh who scored 129 points last season and was brilliant support to Pawan Sehrawat.
Another raider will be Neeraj Narwal who proved his mettle as a substitute raider for champions Dabang Delhi last season and will be ready to prove himself as a starter.
Out of four spots in the defence, Saurabh Nandal, Mahender Singh and Aman have their spots fixed given last season’s performance and the points they scored.
They have a strong core at their disposal.
Weakness- Mayur Kadam will have big responsibility if he starts as he had an underwhelming season last year. Bengaluru might look to start GB More in his place who is more experienced and has shown defensive abilities.
Apart from the right cover spot, another headache for the Bulls’ management will be the lack of any credible backup on the bench.
Bengaluru has only one experienced all-rounder in their ranks and that is Sachin Narwal. They will have to depend on specialists in that case.
Bengaluru Bulls Predicted 7 for PKL 9
Saurabh Nandal (Right Corner), Aman Antil (Left Corner), Bharat Naresh (Right In), Vikash Kandola (Left In), Mayur Kadam (Right Cover), Mahender Singh (Left Cover) and Neeraj Narwal (Center).