Patna Pirates have a rich history in vivo Pro Kabaddi and they were regarded as one of the strong sides in the tournament. Neeraj Kumar was handed over the captaincy duty in the recent edition but the team was not able to create the magic the way they did in Season 8 by becoming the runner-up. The Pirates couldn’t manage to perform well collectively as a unit. They were not given much of a chance by the opposition teams as they won eight matches, faced 11 defeats while the other three were draws. The three-time vivo PKL champions didn’t have an eventful campaign this time around.
The Pirates had a weak start to their season as they managed to secure one win out of the seven matches they played in the first leg at Bengaluru. They picked themselves up after reaching Pune for the second leg and registered five wins on the trot. They showed a glimpse of what they are capable of doing with these wins and one can’t write them off in the tournament. They failed to continue their winning momentum and went off track in the final leg at Hyderabad. They lost a few close matches and didn’t click as a unit when it was needed the most in the league-stage matches.
The team lacked options in the raiding department and relied only on two raiders; Sachin and Rohit Gulia, who were the driving forces for Patna Pirates. They looked in superb raiding form for their side and proved their worth in the offence with 176 and 148 raid points. The experienced campaigner Monu who is listed as a raider scored 22 tackle points for the team but could only earn 14 raid points in attack. The two star raiders didn’t get much support from their teammates which cost them heavily. Leaving Sachin and Rohit Gulia’s combined 324 raid points this season, the others managed to contribute with 94 raid points in attack.
In defence, Mohammadreza Chiyaneh was head and shoulder above the rest for the Pirates. The left corner continued from where he left in his debut season and didn’t allow the raiders to score easy points against him. The Iranian tackler amassed 84 tackle points, becoming the second-best defender in the season. He created history by scoring the most tackle points (16) in a vivo PKL match. The next on the list of defenders for Patna was his corner partner Sunil who earned 41 tackle points. The Pirate Neeraj Kumar who was retained by the franchise had an ordinary season not just in captaincy but also as a defender. He secured 29 tackle points in the Season 9 campaign.
Patna Pirates lacked depth in their team and it was clearly visible in their performance throughout the season. They relied heavily on their star players and the others failed to give them the much-needed support. The three-time vivo Pro Kabaddi champions looked out of sorts in Season 9 and ended the season in 10th place.
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