Backing the local talent, can Puneri Paltan win their maiden trophy?
Corona pandemic has affected all the activities globally. Due to this sports activities were put on hold too. Pro Kabaddi League which takes place every year could not happen last year due to the coronavirus. But now the scenario is different. Things are getting back to normal. Vivo Pro Kabaddi League is all set to start from 22nd December in Bengaluru. As the pandemic is not over yet, league will take place at single place with all the precautions. The auction for this season was held in August.
Maharashtra based franchise Puneri Paltan has never won the PKL trophy so far. They reached playoffs in three consecutive seasons i.e. PKL 3, 4 and 5. But trophy still haunts them. In remaining seasons Paltan were eliminated from group stage only. At the auctions Puneri Paltan made some smart buys in the form of Rahul Chaudhari and Nitin Tomar in the raiding department. They made their defense strong by purchasing Baldev Singh and Vishal Bhardwaj. While most of the teams retained their best performing players, Puneri Paltan chose to back their local players from Maharashtra. Pankaj Mohite who was their key raider in last season, will represent Paltan once again. Pankaj along with Sanket Sawant and Balasaheb Jadhav were retained by the team.
This shows the tremendous faith of team management on the local players. Over the years Maharashtra is continuously producing talented players. Retention of three Maharashtrian players in Maharashtrian team is unimagined yet amazing thing. While Paltan management trusted local players, another PKL franchise from Maharashtra U Mumba went different route and now has only Maharashtrian player in the form of Ajinkya Kapre. Also the team did not go for the strong primary raider for which they received backlash from fans on social media.
Puneri’s trust on their local players was praised by their fans also. It will be interesting to see how local talent along with veterans of PKL performs in the hunt of clinching maiden title for Puneri Paltan.