The first week saw a lot of close affairs between the teams.
The PKL season 9 got off to a great start with the majority of the teams playing out two encounters. Dabang Delhi KC, the reigning champions, showed consistency in winning the first two matches and making a mark for retaining the title in season 9. Few teams missed the assistance of Iranian players who could not make it due to visa issues but have now started arriving.
Puneri Paltan was the most affected team with Fazel Athracheli and Nabibaksh missing out. The team had a young team and good backup putting up a good fight in the Iranian’s absence. After two years fans were allowed to watch the match live and Bengaluru Bulls had good home support taking full advantage winning back-to-back encounters.
Krishan Dhull – Defender
The right-back defender has been lethal scoring 11 points scoring seven and four points respectively in the first two games. He got support from the other defenders helping him to tackle players.
Saurabh Nandal – Defender
Saurabh Nandal from Bengaluru Bulls has scored seven tackle points to date. In his second match, he executed all his tackles to perfection with very less unsuccessful tackle rates.
Vishal – Defender
The left-cover defender has a good combination from the right scoring seven points in the first two matches. Dabang Delhi KC on a whole has got great defence helping the raiders to revive faster and score quickly.
Ashu Singh – All-Rounder
The right-cover defender has scored 6 points in the first two matches. UP Yoddhas overall had a defensive tournament with Sumit and Nitesh Kumar giving good assistance. The team were in search of good cover position players and with Ashu playing well the position has been sorted. He also scored 49 points last season showing good form this season.
Arjun Deshwal – Raider
Arjun Deshwal got off to a slow start claiming only eight points in the first match of PKL 9 but had good support from Ajith Kumar and Bhavani Rajput. He mustered 17 points in the second match against Patna Pirates claiming half the points Jaipur scored totally in the whole match (35). He rose to the occasion when it mattered the most.
Rakesh – Raider
Rakesh from Gujarat Giants has been the lone man in raiding doing the bulk of the raiding scoring 27 points. Captain Chandran Ranjith along with Mahendra Ganesh Rajput were the second-best raiders with 7 raid points. Rakesh almost scored a super 10 in the first match against Tamil Talaivas. He has been a good raider for a few seasons but this shall be a breakthrough season ahead of the main raider like Chandran Ranjith.
Naveen Kumar – Raider
Naveen Kumar fondly called the “Naveen Express” started the season on a great note continuing from where he left the last season. This season Naveen had the responsibility of captainship on his shoulders which has not affected his performance. Vijay Malik a backbone to Naveen could not start in the initial matches due to injury still Naveen did not lose hope and performed well with the help of a strong defence claiming 28 raid points in two matches.
Team of the Week 1 (TOTW) – PKL 9
Krishan Dhull, Saurabh Nandal, Ashu Singh, Vishal, Arjun Deshwal, Rakesh, and Naveen Kumar.