The team lost Pardeep Narwal through the FBM card used by UP Yoddhas in the auction.
Gujarat Giants, coached by Ram Mehar Singh, retained four players during the retention period, including Sonu, Rakesh S, Gaurav Chhikara, and Sohit. All of them were raiders, but the franchise made a smart move during the PKL auction as they picked a couple of good defenders to balance the squad. Not to forget, Gujarat Giants desperately wanted to have Pardeep Narwal in their squad, and they almost bought him before UP Yoddhas used their FBM to get him back.
Let us take a look at the squad of Gujarat Giants for the Pro Kabaddi League Season 9:
Chandran Singh and Pardeep Kumar (Category B Domestic Players)
Chandran Singh is an experienced player who has been a part of the Gujarat Giants in Season 5. While playing for Bengaluru Bulls in the previous edition, he managed to earn 80 raid points at a raid strike rate of 43%. Coming back to the Gujarat Giants is like a homecoming for an experienced raider as he was bought by the franchise for 30 lakhs.
The Giants, on the other hand, paid 25 lakhs for Pardeep Kumar. A qualified mechanical engineer, he was a part of the Gujarat Giants in the last season and created an impact when he earned 4 raid points in just 2 raids. The super raid he registered took the Giants across the winning line. A similar performance would be expected from Pardeep in the upcoming season. Overall, he earned 75 raid points last season.
Rakesh, Gaurav Chhikara, Sohit, Sonu Singh (Existing New Young Players)
Three of them were retained by the franchise before the PKL auction, including Rakesh, who had been excellent in the previous season. He scored 140 raid points with a good strike rate of around 46%. Gaurav Chhikara is another raider who has been retained by the franchise to keep their raiding side strong.
While Sohit was sidelined by the Giants in the previous edition, Sonu Singh played merely two games where he did not score a single point. This upcoming season for both of them would be crucial if given a chance.
Sonu (Elite Retained Player)
Having played for Gujarat Giants in Season 7, Sonu made headlines on numerous occasions. He scored 72 raid points in 17 games where he was successful more than he failed. Retaining his services for the upcoming season was a brilliant idea by Gujarat. He, alongside Chandran and Pardeep, can do wonders for the franchise.
Dong Geon Lee and Young Chan Ko (Overseas Players)
The Gujarat Giants made a wise decision by keeping Dong Geon Lee on their roster for just 20 lakhs. Though the player is yet to make a huge impact in the league, Geon Lee has saved his team from collapse on a number of occasions. His raiding skills could surely benefit the Giants.
Chan Ko may not have good numbers, but he surely has all the skills a defender should have. He is not a bad pick at all for Gujarat and will look to improve his stats this time.
Mahendra Ganesh Rajput, Purna Singh, Sawin, Rinku Narwal, Sandeep Kandola, Baldev Singh, Kapil, Manuj, Ujjaval Singh, Sourav Guliya, Vinod Kumar, Arkam Shaikh and Shankar Bhimraj Gadai (Category C Domestic Players)
Gujarat Giants bought many of these players for 10 lakhs from the C category of domestic players. Gujarat’s other pick for 10 lakhs was Ganesh Rajput, who was superb in the last edition. He scored 60 raid points with a good strike rate of over 52%.
Purna Singh, who previously played for Patna Pirates in Season 7, was bought by Gujarat Giants this time. Purna does not have much PKL experience, but this year could be the year he gets to show off his abilities. On the other hand, Sawin was also added to the squad in the same amount as a raider.
Though the Gujarat Giants do not have a big name in their defensive category, the young players will need to step up to showcase their skills in the upcoming season. Rinku Narwal was the only highlight for the Giants in the auction as they got him for 40 lakhs to set up a strong defensive base, while Sandeep Kandola was bought for 20 lakhs. Baldev Singh was purchased for 21.5 lakh.
Both Akram and Shankar are from the all-rounder category and were bought handsomely during the auction. While Gujarat Giants paid 32.1 lakhs for Akram, Shankar went for 30.3 lakhs. Both would look to perform at their best level to grab more attention, this time with their game.
Prateek Dahiya and Rohan Singh (Franchise Nominated New Young Players)
The Giants signed Prateek Dahiya, a raider who plays from the right position, for the upcoming PKL season. Dahiya has no experience if you talk about PKL, but his domestic experience is quite rich, which could be the reason for his inclusion in the squad. Having some young players like him would make the dugout energetic, which is equally important.
Just like Prateek Dahiya, Rohan Singh is also from the franchise nominated category and will look to gain some credibility in the upcoming PKL season. Gujarat Giants have picked so many young players in their squad this time and there are high chances that the majority of them will get a game to showcase their skills.
Chandran Singh, Pardeep Kumar, Rakesh, Dong Geon Lee, Mahendra Ganesh Rajput, Purna Singh, Sawin, Gaurav Chhikara, Parteek Dahiya, Sohit, Sonu, Sonu Singh, Arkam Shaikh, Shankar Bhimraj Gadai, Rohan Singh, Baldev Singh, Kapil, Manuj, Ujjaval Singh, Sourav Guliya, Vinod Kumar, Young Chan Ko, Rinku Narwal, Sandeep Kandola