Bengal Warriors were regarded as one of the top sides before the start of the tournament. Maninder played his role to perfection on the raiding front but missed out on certain instances as a captain which led to their exit from the league stage. They looked promising to outscore their performance of Season 8 but couldn’t get going as the season progressed. Bengal Warriors coach K. Baskaran tried out all combinations possible but stopped short to create any magic on the mat with the available resources. The Warriors looked in good control in most of the matches that they played but took their foot off the pedal at crucial moments and in the second half of the tournament which got them out of playoff contention.
The Season 7 champions started their vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 9 journey with four wins and three losses in Bengaluru. When they went to Pune for the second leg they missed out on earning 5 points for a win in a few close matches and had two wins, two losses and two draws to their tally. They were in the hunt for the major part of the tournament until they reached Hyderabad for the third and final leg. The Warriors played nine matches during this period and secured two wins. They looked out of sorts and lost five out of their remaining six matches in the tournament costing them a playoff berth.
Maninder Singh was the star of the tournament for Bengal as he hardly put a foot wrong as a raider. The other raiders lacked the same quality which he possessed throughout the season. The Warriors' skipper was mighty in the offence and amassed 238 raid points. Shrikant Jadhav gave good support to his captain and scored 123 raid points for the team. In 17 matches, the experienced all-rounder Deepak Hooda managed to score 47 raid points. The other all-rounder in the side Manoj Gowda made his presence felt with 26 raid points for the Warriors.
The Warriors' defence as a whole looked average as they failed to click on a regular basis and find a rhythm. Girish Maruti Ernak did a splendid job as a tackler and was the best-performing defender for the team. The left corner scored 51 tackle points and pulled the Warriors out of tough situations. Ernak’s corner partner Shubham Shinde wasn’t far behind as he produced 43 tackle points. The debutant Vaibhav Garje scored 30 tackle points in his first vivo PKL season. Balaji D also made his presence felt and scored 25 tackle points.
The Warriors failed to soak the pressure and close out matches going their way. The Warriors relied too much on their captain Maninder Singh and he more often than not carried them over the line all alone. They performed well in patches and failed to bounce back. Bengal Warriors concluded their season at the 11th spot.
Follow vivo Pro Kabaddi on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & YouTube for all the latest updates!