The Warriors are known to make strong comebacks and with a 22-player squad, the Season 7 vivo Pro Kabaddi champions went into the Player Auction with similar intentions. No FBM (Final Bid Match) card was used as the management went for a fresh overhaul of the squad.

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Reliance on Retained Raiders

They retained five raiders with Maninder Singh leading the lot. With 993 Raid Points, the senior raider is all set to achieve the 1000 Raid Points mark. With Shrikant Jadhav, a do-or-die specialist as his raiding duo, Bengal Warriors surely has a potent attack this season. Overseas player Aslam Saja Mohamed Thambi from Sri Lanka can throw in a surprise with his raiding skills.

Revamped All-rounder department

All-rounder Deepak Hooda was the biggest purchase with a price tag of ₹43 lakhs.

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The veteran of 140 matches brings in an experience of 973 Raid Points, 21 Super Raids and 90 Tackle Points. He was also the only category A player bought with Ajinkya Kapre being the other senior. Manoj Gowda was the only retained all-rounder as the rest of the buys were youth-focused. A lot will be expected from Balaji D. as the category C was snapped for ₹20.60 lakhs despite playing just one match the previous season.

A new look defensive lineup

Girish Ernak and Surender Nada will be the biggest faces in the team’s defensive lineup with a combined 35 Super Tackles between them. Surender Nada was a steal for Bengal Warriors as the ankle hold specialist was bought at his base price of ₹10 lakhs. To boost their right corner, they will be banking on Shubham Shinde’s services who will ply his trade for Bengal Warriors after being released by Patna Pirates. Moreover, they have Sakthivel R. in their kitty as the new recruit was picked for ₹12.2 lakhs against his base price of 6 lakhs. Soleiman Pahlevani is the only other overseas player in the squad. The 2016 World Cup playing Iranian’s defensive skills will be surely up for the test this season.

With the squad comprising of 7 raiders, 7 all-rounders and 8 defenders, Bengal Warriors’ strength seems well balanced and will be looking to up their performance after a mediocre Season 8.

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