A few teams picked up top players for peanuts during the bidding war.
The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) season 8 is upon us. The enthusiasm of the Kabaddi fans is at its peak. With the announcement that the new season would start in December 2021, fans are ready to witness domestic Kabaddi action after a long break.
The league was postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The auction for Pro Kabaddi League season 8 have concluded as well with several players switching sides. ‘Dubki King’ Pardeep Narwal got the highest bid of ₹1.65 crores as UP Yodha picked him up.
The thrill and amazement are undeniable, and no team is letting go of any player easily. Many teams have spent huge amount of money to strengthen their squad at the auction. But who were the silent winners of the bidding wars?
Let’s take a look at the top five smartest buys at the Pro Kabaddi League season 8 auction.
5. Monu Goyat – 20 lakhs
Monu Goyat is an experienced raider and given his performance in the Pro Kabaddi League in recent years, shelling out only 20 lakhs look like an amazing bargain for Patna Pirates. His former employers UP Yoddha reached the playoffs in season 7 and Goyat played an important role in the journey.
UP Yoddha are known for their defensive capabilities and Goyat added a new dimension to their game last season. His uncanny reflexes and ability to move quickly on the mat makes him a dangerous raider for any defence. His raid success rate was 43.03% last season, which proves he still has plenty to offer to his new team.
Patna Pirates will be playing without their star raider Pardeep Narwal in the upcoming season, which is why the finesse of Goyat to support a young raider like Sachin Tanwar will be invaluable.
4. Sandeep Dhull – 45 lakhs (FBM)
Sandeep was one of the most underrated players in season 7 of the PKL. He registered 73 tackle points in the last season. Dhull was picked up by Jaipur Pink Panthers for a meagre 45 lakhs in the recently concluded auction.
Sandeep is a solid game changer and he will significantly improve the qualify of Jaipur’s defence, while also allowing them to keep an air of familiarity within their framework. Several teams could have benefitted from his presence and might as well regret it as the season progresses.
3. Rahul Chaudhari – 40 lakhs
People seem to forget that Rahul Chaudhari is still a threat on the mat. While a forgettable season of Tamil Thalaivas did not do him any favours, the former Titan is as effective as ever. Puneri Paltan saw a brilliant opportunity to bring the star at such a low amount and it is highly likely that Rahul will once again find himself back into the top of the raiding charts.
He scored 138 points in the last edition of the PKL for the Thalaivas and was the best raider of season 4 for the Titans. He is likely to continue his strong performances and could turn out to be one of the steals of this auction.
2. Rohit Kumar – 36 lakhs
Whenever Rohit Kumar found himself paired with a top class raider, he has won the Pro Kabaddi League title. Telugu Titans have done exactly that by bringing together Rohit Kumar and Siddharth Desai in their fold.
Rohit is a highly capable raider and can offer brilliant support to Desai like he gave Pawan Sehrawat and Pardeep Narwal. He is also a daunting vocal presence on the mat and to get all that for just 36 lakhs seems like a steal. He had scored 100 points in the last season for the Bulls and took them to the semi-finals. In all likelihood, his performance will improve at Telugu Titans.
1. Deepak Niwas Hooda – 55 lakhs (FBM)
The brilliant all-rounder was snapped for less than double of his base price. Deepak Niwas Hooda is a game changer and is a solid performer on both ends of the mat. The 27-year-old is still in his prime and Jaipur Pink Panthers have grabbed a brilliant opportunity to retain him, especially at a low price of 55 lakhs.
Jaipur failed to reach the playoffs last season but Deepak Niwas Hooda’s 158 points in the previous campaign was something the outfit valued and would get more of in the coming season. His inclusion in the Panthers’ team certainly makes them a Pro Kabaddi League title contender.