Pro Kabaddi League: Meet the captains of all 12 teams
The 5th season of Pro Kabaddi League began with a bang last week in Hyderabad. With four new teams in the fray, PKL is now bigger and grander. While some of the existing teams have retained their old players, others bought marquee players, to lead their teams. Let us have a look at the captains of all 12 teams participating in the tournament.
U Mumba's Captain Cool
Former Indian team captain Aunp Kumar is captaining the Mumbai based franchise U Mumba for the fifth consecutive year. He previously led the team to championship in 2015, and guided them to final in the 2016 January season. One of the best raiders in the world, Anup has played 57 PKL matches and has 411 points, 377 of which have come from raids.
Jaipur Pink Panthers' to go guy
Manjeet Chillar is one of the few players who has established himself as a successful all-rounder of the game. Having captained Bengaluru Bulls in the first two and the Puneri Paltan for the next two seasons, Chillar now leads the season one champions, Jaipur Pink Panthers. From 59 PKL matches, Chillar has 207 raid points and 196 defence points to his credit.
The 'dubki' king
19-year old Pradeep Narwal was a star performer for the defending champions Patna Pirates, and it came as no surprise when he was retained as the team's captain . He is the youngest player to win 'Most Valuable Player' of the year award. Famous for his trademark 'dubki' to avoid being caught by the defender, Narwal has 256 raid points from 38 matches.
The poster boy of PKL
Rahul Chaudhari is the most successful player of the league and was the most valuable player in seasons one and four. He secured 146 points in the last season. Retained by the Telugu Titans, he leads the Hyderabad-based team yet again. Chaudhari is the first player to have crossed the 500-points mark (517 points), 482 of which are from raids.
India's star raider
Ajay Thakur was the star raider during India's 2016 World Cup victory. He will captain the PKL's new entrant Tamil Thalaivas in their first season. With a vast experience of more than a decade, he has amassed 327 points from his 58 PKL matches. Thakur is known for his trademark 'frog jump' and is a nightmare for the opposition's defenders.
Puneri Paltan's Mr. Dependable
One of the best raiders of the league, Deepak Niwas Hooda took the reins of captaincy for Puneri Paltan for the first time. His performance in the fourth season of the tournament, helped the Pune based franchise finish fourth in the league table. The star raider had scored 130 points last season, and has a total of 391 points to his name.
One of the most feared defenders of PKL
Surender Nada is seen leading the PKL's new addition, Haryana Steelers for the 2017 season. One of the most feared defenders, Nada has scored 156 points from his 49 matches, and was a part of the fourth season's league winning squad, Patna Pirates. He was also a member of India's World Cup winning contingent last year.
Costliest player of the fifth season
Nitin Tomar was picked up by the new team UP Yodhha for a record Rs 93 lakh during this year's auction, making him the tournament's costliest player ever. Having made his debut in the third season of the PKL, he has come to be known as one of the PKL's top raiders. In the 22 games, Tomar has scored 115 points.
Rohit Kumar - Bengaluru Bulls
Bought by Bengaluru Bulls for Rs 81 lakh, Rohit Kumar will captain the team for season 5. The raider made his Pro Kabaddi debut in January last year and has 209 points from 26 matches.
Bengal Warriors is led by Surjeet Singh, who was a part of Puneri Paltan and U Mumba in earlier seasons. Playing their first PKL season, Gujarat Fortunegiants will be captained by former Telugu Titans raider Sukesh Hegde. The only foreign captain in the league, Iran's Meraj Sheykh, is a part of Dabang Delhi. He was the only player retained by the team.