Patna Pirates retained Neeraj after the right cover was the lone bright spot in a disappointing defensive display in PKL 7. Since then, the Army defender has established himself as one of the best right covers in the country.
Sachin struggled with form and fitness in PKL 7, however before that he was the major reason Gujarat made back-to-back finals in PKL 5 and 6. Moreover, the 2-year gap gave Sachin time to recover from his knee and ankle issues. A fully fit and firing Sachin is capable of shouldering Patna’s raiding burden.
Lack of raiding alternatives to Sachin:
Apart from Sachin Patna do not have trusted alternatives to provide adequate support to Sachin. Prashant Rai is 37 now and largely struggled in the last Senior nationals and was not considered in this year’s Senior nationals. Monu Goyat has struggled for form in the last 2 years and was ineffective in this year’s Inter Services, while Guman Singh has potential but is untested in PKL.
Number of untested defenders
Pirates are likely to start with Mohammed Reza Chadloui at the left corner position. While Sajin is expected to take up the left cover position. Chadloui is immensely talented but is playing his first PKL a couple of below par games at the start can dent his confidence, while talented left cover Sajin is also making his PKL debut, however, Sajin hasn’t played regularly against top quality raiders, and it remains to be seen how he fares against them.
Mohammed Reza Chadloui:
Talented Iranian left corner Mohammed Reza Chadloui is seen as the next big thing in Iran, the 20-year-old impressed in the Dubai Masters and has all the skills to establish himself as one of the big names of Pro Kabaddi.
Monu Goyat made his name in Patna Pirates, since then his star has fallen and he has struggled to reproduce his Patna form consistently, will he once again find form at the franchise which propelled him into stardom.
Injury or loss of form for Sachin
If Sachin suffers from form or fitness issues and Monu Goyat and Prashant Rai continue their recent form, then Patna’s raiding will struggle big time.