Here is the lowdown on all 12 captains ahead of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5.

VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5 is set to unleash four new teams and a new format, meaning the entertainment quotient will see an all-time high this season. However, as far all 12 teams and their captains are concerned, they will be solely focussed on winning the trophy that will be handed to the champions after a gruelling 13 weeks and 138 demanding games. Let’s see who these captains are; whose both leadership and game will be keenly watched by fans.  

Surjeet Singh (Bengal Warriors)

The team representing Kolkata has chosen their most expensive player from the Season 5 auction as their captain. Surjeet is a defensive stalwart who finished Season 3 with 48 tackle points for Puneri Paltan, a record for a right cover defender in a single season that also includes an amazing five High 5s in just 12 matches. After another commendable Season 4 as part of the U Mumba outfit, he comes to the City of Joy to lead the Warriors to their maiden title.

Position: Defender (Right Cover)

Matches Played: 26

Total Points: 86

Total Tackle Points: 85

Tackles: 148

Successful Tackles: 80

Rohit Kumar (Bengaluru Bulls)

The second most expensive player in VIVO Pro Kabaddi history, Rohit Kumar will lead Bengaluru Bulls as they look to win the elusive trophy in what will be their fifth attempt. In Season 3 that saw him bag the MVP award, he completed 100+ raid points with Patna Pirates, and followed it up with 93 in the next season, this time in Bengaluru Bulls colours. The team will look to him to give them direction in attack and vision in defence.

Position: Raider

Matches Played: 26

Total Points: 209

Total Raid Points: 195

Raids: 412

Successful Raids: 155

Meraj Sheykh (Dabang Delhi K.C.)

Dabang Delhi K.C. have chosen the seasoned campaigner from Iran, Meraj Sheykh as their captain. The all-rounder has plied his trade for Telugu Titans in the previous seasons and after a commendable Season 4 with the team from the national capital, he was retained in the squad. He is the only overseas player to lead a VIVO Pro Kabaddi team this year and will look to bring in a change through his experience and leadership skills.

Position: All-rounder

Matches Played: 43

Total Points: 161

Total Raid Points: 119

Total Tackle Points: 42

Raids: 291

Tackles: 91

Sukesh Hegde (Gujarat Fortunegiants)

Sukesh Hegde has been given the captain’s armband by the Gujarat Fortunegiants management and is one of the main players in their attack line. After playing the first three seasons for Telugu Titans, he had an injury-marred Season 4 but has amplified his fitness routine to come back fitter and stronger. His powerful and slender frame, alongside his agility and pace, will be a great bonus for the league debutants.

Position: Raider

Matches Played: 49

Total Points: 218

Total Raid Points: 209

Raids: 447

Successful Raids: 158

Surender Nada (Haryana Steelers)

One of the most successful left-corners in VIVO Pro Kabaddi, Surender Nada will be handling leadership responsibilities as well as patrolling the defence for his team. He was chosen by the Haryana franchise as a priority pick, banking on his trusted ankle and thigh hold. He had a fantastic World Cup with the national team in 2016 and will hope to continue in the same vein with one of the four new entrants this season.   

Position: Defender (Left Corner)

Matches Played: 49

Total Points: 156

Total Tackle Points: 138

Tackles: 254

Successful Tackles: 128

Manjeet Chhillar (Jaipur Pink Panthers)

Taking into account his experience and impact on the mat, Jaipur Pink Panthers have announced Manjeet Chhillar as their Season 5 captain. The ‘One Man Army’ was voted the Best Defender in Season 1 and the ‘Most Valuable Player’ in Season 2, both times playing for Bengaluru Bulls. This season, the inaugural champions will be looking forward to his fantastic skills and versatility to lead them to their second triumph.

Position: All-rounder

Matches Played: 59

Total Points: 403

Total Raid Points: 207

Total Tackle Points: 196

Raids: 642

Tackles: 334

Pardeep Narwal (Patna Pirates)

Pardeep Narwal has been a solid peg for Patna Pirates from Season 3 onwards which saw them winning two trophies on the trot. After retaining him in Season 5, the Patna management showed their immense faith in him by also announcing him as the captain. Known widely as the ‘Dubki King’, he won the ‘Emerging Player Award’ of Season 3 and was adjudged the ‘Most Valuable Player’ of Season 4.

Position: Raider

Matches Played: 38

Total Points: 263

Total Raid Points: 256

Raids: 488

Successful Raids: 190

Deepak Niwas Hooda (Puneri Paltan)

Puneri Paltan showed great faith in Deepak Hooda by retaining him ahead of the fifth season and then by handing over the captain’s armband to the all-rounder.  While his explosive speed and agility takes defenders by surprise, on defensive duties he is a prowler who waits for the opportune moment to pounce. He will be looking to lead his team to their maiden VIVO Pro Kabaddi trophy.

Position: All-rounder

Matches Played: 57

Total Points: 391

Total Raid Points: 342

Total Tackle Points: 49

Raids: 735

Tackles: 132

Ajay Thakur (Tamil Thalaivas)

One of the biggest stars of VIVO Pro Kabaddi, Ajay Thakur was picked by the Tamil Nadu team as their Priority player at the auction and has been subsequently handed over the leadership responsibility. Having made his debut at the age of 19 for India, the seasoned campaigner is sure to add a lot of depth and experience to the debutants this season. A meticulous, dependable and agile raider, the attack line of the Thalaivas is sure to be covered.

Position: Raider

Matches Played: 58

Total Points: 327

Total Raid Points: 316

Raids: 721

Successful Raids: 237

Rahul Chaudhari (Telugu Titans)

The ‘Raid Machine’, retained by Telugu Titans for Season 5, is one of the household names of VIVO Pro Kabaddi. He has been handed the reins of the franchise and he will be looking to use his immense league experience to guide them through. He was awarded the ‘Best Raider’ of the league both in Season 1 and 4. His lightning fast speed and signature running-hand touch is set to delight fans yet again.  

Position: Raider

Matches Played: 57

Total Points: 517

Total Raid Points: 482

Raids: 957

Successful Raids: 385

Anup Kumar (U Mumba)

A lynchpin for U Mumba since the league’s inception, ‘Captain Cool’ Anup Kumar was retained by the Mumbai outfit. The talismanic star raider, who is also India’s national captain, won the league in Season 2 after falling just short in Season 1. He was also named the ‘Most Valuable Player’ of Season 1. U Mumba will look up to their inspirational captain as they aim to bring the trophy to their den for the second time.

Position: Raider

Matches Played: 57

Total Points: 411

Total Raid Points: 377

Raids: 938

Successful Raids: 307

Nitin Tomar (U.P. Yoddha )

Nitin Tomar currently holds the distinction for being the most expensive player in VIVO Pro Kabaddi history. The debutants U.P. Yoddha did not think twice before roping him in to lead the attack. After stints with Bengal Warriors and Puneri Paltan, Tomar is all set to bring his agility and speed to the fore, execute his hand touches, escapes and jumps to good effect and lead his team to ultimate glory.

Position: Raider

Matches Played: 22

Total Points: 115

Total Raid Points: 110

Raids: 272

Successful Raids: 98

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