The name ‘Pirates’ always struck fear in the hearts of opponents as the swashbucklers from the sea were known to leave no survivors in their wake. The Pirates from Patna inspire a similar feeling of fear among teams in VIVO Pro Kabaddi.
Their attack is among the most formidable in the league and their defence stands strong, weathering any storm the team might face. They first stamped their authority on the league in Season 3, where they claimed the title as their own thanks to some thrilling raiding by Dubki King Pardeep Narwal and current Bengaluru Bulls captain, Rohit Kumar, and have remained at the top ever since. The hat-trick of titles they completed in Season 5 proves they are one of the strongest teams the league has seen and they have raised the bar for the others.
Pirates captain Pardeep Narwal has been one of the mainstays of the team right from Season 3, where he was brought in as a young, untested raider. He proved his worth with his signature ‘dubkis’ that caught the opponents off-guard. He was the most successful raider that season with 116 raid points in spite of being a one of the youngest raiders in the competition. His partnership with Rohit Kumar was instrumental in the team finally turning the tides and bagging their first ever title. The Pirates scored a massive 594 points that season and left behind runners up U Mumba by 92 points. The era of the Pirates had finally begun.
The next season saw the Pirates emerge on top in the group stage by scoring 52 points from 14 games. Their attack wasn’t as effective as it was the previous season but their overall team balance more than made up for that. They dominated Jaipur Pink Panthers in the final and won with a comfortable 37-29 scoreline. The Dubki King was the hero for Patna once again, scoring 16 points and becoming the highest scorer of the final. This was also the season where the Patna defence could boast of defensive stalwarts such as Iranians Fazel Atrachali and Hadi Oshtorak, Kuldeep Singh and Dharmaraj Cheralathan in their ranks.
Season 5 saw the Pirates steer their ship towards the young guns of kabaddi. Pardeep Narwal was rewarded for his exploits in the league by being named the side’s captain. It was a decision not everyone agreed with, given the raider’s young age, but coach Ram Mehar Singh was confident of his decision.
"I haven't seen anybody like Pardeep," Ram Mehar Singh had said in an exclusive interview with ProKabaddi.com during Season 5. "The team makes mistakes but then he subsequently goes and gets 10 points. There are many captains that get angry with their players when they make mistakes. They also interfere and tell the coach to change some players. But he never does that. This is a very big plus when it comes to him. He always focuses on his game and on playing better each and every time. He never demotivates any player in the team."
Narwal top scored once again in Season 5, but this time leaving the second-best raider behind by a whopping 150 raid points. He was supported well by the team’s new signing Monu Goyat and the duo ran through opposition defences like a hot knife through butter. The team faced some difficulties in defence early on but young Jaideep was backed up ably by Jawahar Dagar and Vijay once the team entered the business end of the league, which sealed the other teams’ fate.
Debutants Gujarat Fortunegiants threatened Patna’s dominance in the final but in the end it was the ‘Pardeep Narwal show’ all the way as Patna charged through the Fortunegiants and sank their ship without breaking a sweat.
However, even though Patna Pirates scored the most points in Season 5 (1050), they were also the team which conceded the most points in the season (921). They have been known to be susceptible if their two primary raiders, Pardeep Narwal and Monu Goyat, fail; a weakness a number of teams have tried to take advantage of through the campaign. None succeeded, though, and the Pirates’ flag currently waves unchallenged over the VIVO Pro Kabaddi arena.