PKL 2021: From Kondola brothers to Dharmaraj Cheralathan, 6 players from Haryana Steelers who can be retained ahead of PKL auction – Coached by veteran Rakesh Kumar and captained by one of the oldest players in Pro Kabaddi League Dharmaraj Cheralathan, Haryana Steelers will look to improve their performance in last few seasons when they take on the mat in PKL 2021. Ahead of the season, they will have to retain a few of their players to form the core group.
आखिरी मिनट में छाया प्रशांत का जादू 😎#OnThisDay, Steelers secured a last minute point to finish a thrilling match against #JaipurPinkPanthers with a tie 👏🏼#ShaanSeSteelers #DhaakadBoys #HaryanaSteelers pic.twitter.com/wdIgvhLEyQ
— Haryana Steelers (@HaryanaSteelers) September 11, 2020
Before going into the auction, the PKL teams are also expected to exercise their choice of retention of PKL Season 7 squads as per the league policies. For each PKL Season, teams are allowed to retain up to six players under the Elite Retained Players category and up to six New Young Players (NYPs) under stipulated conditions.
We at Insidesport will take you through six players Haryana Steelers can retain ahead of the PKL auction.
A veteran of almost two decades, Dharmaraj Cheralathan is one of the most experienced players in the sport and one of the game’s most seasoned defenders. He successfully captained Patna Pirates to their second title in Season 4 of Pro Kabaddi. The corner also struck gold with the Indian national team in the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup.
Stats are also in favour of Dharmaraj Cheralathan AKA Aanna With 42 Tackle Points, Dharmaraj Cheralathan led the Bengaluru Bulls defence in Season 2. In Season 3, he led the defence for Telugu Titans with 31 Tackle Points. He led the Super Tackles count in Season 4 with 8 against his name.
हमारे धाकड़ छोरों को कितने अच्छे से पहचानते हो? 🧐
— Haryana Steelers (@HaryanaSteelers) December 21, 2020
After showcasing his tremendous potential in Season 5, Vikash Kandola delivered on the promise and finished as Haryana Steelers’ leading point scorer in Season 6 and 7. His immense explosiveness and his agile dashes across the mat coupled with his innate ability to pick up bonus points make Kandola a tricky customer for any defensive unit to deal with.
Kandola’s tally of 177 points was the highest for a Haryana Steelers player in Season 6. His tally of 51 bonus points was the third-highest among all players in Season 6. Kandola was among the top 10 raiders of the league in Seasons 6 and 7.
In his two-season old Kabaddi career, Naveen has impressed many experts with his raiding skills. He has played 37 matches in PKL with 167 points under his belt. He has a not out percentage of 74.92. Haryana are solid on the defence but are lacking on the raiding side. They can retain Naveen ahead of PKL 2021.
VK या PK? कौन करेगा रेड 😅
— Haryana Steelers (@HaryanaSteelers) March 1, 2021
Prashanth Kumar Rai
With performance that has improved with every season, Prashanth Kumar Rai has established himself as a consistent raider in the league. He scored 54 points in 15 games for Telugu Titans in Season 2 and came into his own in Season 5. He crossed 100 raid points for the first time in Season 6, finishing with 144. Prashant Kumar Rai’s tally of 80 points in 16 games in Season 5 was second-best among all Haryana Steelers players. His three Super 10s were most by a Haryana Steelers player in Season 5 of PKL. Rai, along with Wazir Singh, managed three Super Raids in Season 5, leading the Haryana Steelers in that category. Prashanth Kumar Rai will be Haryana’s key raider in PKL 2021.
Tamil Nadu-born Selvamani K. made his Pro Kabaddi debut for Dabang Delhi K.C. in Season 2 and by Season 5 already made his way across the 100 Raid Point mark. The lean raider is extremely nimble on his feet making him a difficult proposition on the mat and very effective in Do-Or-Die Raids. In season 3, he picked 25 Do-Or-Die Raid Points, the third-highest tally that season. In season 4 was a breakthrough campaign for Selvamani where he scored 45 raid points. In Season 4, 27 of his 45 raid points came in Do-Or-Die raids.
Vikram Kondola who holds the left defender position has emerged as one of the most reliable defenders in PKL. Rubbing shoulders with Anna he has grown in confidence and stature in the last few seasons. He has just played four matches in PKL but has remained not out throughout.