The franchise are hoping to win the league for the first time in their history.

Pro Kabaddi League is soon coming back to action after a long period. The auction for the upcoming season of the league has already taken place. It saw the franchises make bids for their preferred targets. The strategy in an auction is to sign players according to the combinations and requirements of the present squad. While some teams manage to get their targets, others miss out on signing players to other teams. 

The attempt is to assemble a balanced squad, but some teams are strong in one department and weak in another. Haryana Steelers were also active during the auction. The outfit have big ambitions going into Season 8 and will hope to write their name in shining letters. Here is a squad analysis of the Haryana Steelers ahead of the upcoming season of the PKL:

Strengths 

Vikas Kandola’s presence

Vikas Kandola is a brilliant raider and a focal point in the Steelers’ roster. He will shoulder most of the responsibility to score points through his raids. He comes with a lot of experience and will be the main threat for Haryana Steelers in the upcoming season. Moreover, he has been the franchise’s highest scorer in the past two campaigns of the PKL.

During Season 7, he scored 195 raid points in 19 matches. In Season 6 of the tournament, Vikas scored 177 points in 22 matches, plus 51 bonus points (third best in the division). Haryana are heavily reliant on Vikas’ capability to score points with his raids. He is great at scoring bonus points which is an added asset. The “Running Hand Touch” is a technique he has mastered well and this will be the biggest strength for the Steelers. 

Surender Nada’s defensive prowess

Surender Nada is an important player for the Haryana Steelers (Courtesy: Pro Kabaddi)

In terms of defenders, Haryana Steelers have experienced stalwarts like Surender Nada and Ravi Kumar. Surender Nada was the highest tackle points scorer during Season 5 of the PKL. He further holds the record for executing the most consecutive high-fives. Nada scored 80 points the last time he featured for the Steelers. 

He thrives on his strong ankle hold which is a nuisance for any raider to deal with. Having a player like him in the ranks is a positive for sure. Ravi Kumar has a total of 168 tackle points in 96 PKL matches. He will solidify the right-cover position in defence.  

Rohit Gulia & Rajesh Narwal’s capabilities

Rohit Gulia is a great all-rounder. He is a do-or-die specialist and having him in the side is a great boost for Haryana Steelers. He’ll keep the pressure on Vikas Kandola at a minimum. Both players have been playing together since the last three seasons in the Senior Nationals, developing their partnership and coordination. Rohit Gulia has been a captain previously in the PKL and this will certainly help the outfit.

Talking about Rajesh Narwal, he was a winner of the league in the first season with Jaipur Pink Panthers. In the second season, he scored 87 points in 14 games, which was the second-best tally that year. In the third season too, Narwal managed 80 points in 14 games. For the fourth season, he played as an all-rounder and managed 85 points in 16 matches, his best performance to-date.

Rajesh Narwal is a great reader of the game. He raids well and adapts to the situation of the match. Haryana Steelers will be happy to have him amongst the squad in Season 8 of the competition.

Weakness

Lack of a right-corner

Haryana Steelers have a weakness in their defence which is the right-corner position. Despite having players like Nada and Kumar, this area will trouble the team. Players like Pardeep Narwal, for instance, are the sort of figures who score a lot of points from this position. The Steelers could feel the pinch of not having a good defender in this area.

In a scenario where Surender Nada develops fitness concerns, it could pose problems for the team. Players like Chand Singh and Rajesh Gurjar do not have ample experience in the left-corner. In such a situation, the team will be dependent on Surender Nada. He could take time to find his rhythm after coming back to the league following a gap of two years. 

Team

Raider: Rohit Gulia, Vikas Kandola, Mohammad Esmaeil Maghsodlou, Vinay, and Vikas Chillar.

Defender: Ravi Kumar, Surender Nada, Chand Singh, and Rajesh Gurjar.

All-rounder: Brijendra Singh Chaudhary, Vikas Jaglan, Hamid Mirzaei Nader, Ajay Ghanghas, Rajesh Narwal

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