The PKL season champions were undefeated in the first five match of the season.
Dabang Delhi KC finished the PKL season 9 in sixth place after the end of league stages and lost in the first eliminator to Bengaluru Bulls. The team started the season on a bright note winning the five encounters but then lost the plot losing the next six encounters on the trot. The inefficiency of the defensive unit hurt Delhi badly and was constantly changing players in the playing 7.
Dabang Delhi’s raider Naveen Kumar finished the season with 254 raid points occupying the third spot in the raid points table in PKL 9. He had a great start to the season scoring nine consecutive super 10s the most in season 9 but after a small injury lost pace in the midseason. The raider though came back strongly and scored back-to-back super 10s to finish in the top 5 raiders chart. Also with no help coming from the defensive side, it was difficult for Naveen to get revived at crucial junctures else could have got close to the 300 raid points mark.
Ashu Malik played his role to perfection scoring 158 raid points in 23 matches of PKL 9. He took over the primary raiding role in the absence of Naveen Kumar (due to injury) and also scored more points than Naveen Kumar when both played together showing his dominance. Ashu was acting as a tertiary raider when Manjeet was scoring points but when Manjeet failed to perform Ashu took over the secondary raider’s role and scored points consistently.
Vishal the cover defender is the only player to score 50-plus points from the defensive unit. Krishan Kumar Hooda persisted with the defender and gave him enough game time to play in all 23 matches Dabang Delhi played in season 9. Unlike other defenders, he was scoring points but also had a higher number of unsuccessful tackles which can be due to the pressure of others, not scoring points as well. Overall the defender also got featured in the team of the season scoring 56 tackle points.
Underperformer of the season
In the 17 matches the cover defender played in PKL season 9, Ravin Kumar could not score 22 points with an average of one tackle point per match. Overall in the 78 attempted tackles, Ravi had a successful tackle of only 27 per cent. He is one of the most experienced defenders on the side having played 137 matches and scored more than 200 tackle points. The season was way below par after having such a good profile.
Manager’s report card
Krishan Kumar Hooda couldn’t do much with the inability of the defence to perform at crucial junctures. In certain situations, he should have persisted with Sandeep Dhull and Amit Hooda and should have given them longer rope. Overall even if the team had qualified for the playoffs the season was not as good compared to the previous seasons. The raiding department in the absence of Vijay Malik played well.
Lessons to be learned
The management of Dabang Delhi could have signed a few NYP players in the defence as they did in the raiding department. Ravi Kumar was persisted for the majority of the matches as they did not have many options. No defender apart from Vishal scored more than 50 plus tackle points which was the only point of concern.
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