Dabang Delhi K.C. came into the tournament as one of the favourites. They had high hopes from their skipper Naveen Kumar who was leading the team as a full-time captain for the first time in vivo Pro Kabaddi history. The Season 8 champions did manage to make it to the playoffs and played the Eliminator under his captaincy but couldn’t proceed to the next round in the 9th edition. There were a few injury concerns in their camp and also their defence which let them down in the dying moments of the matches they played. An Eliminator exit after being crowned as the champions in Season 8 was a bitter pill to swallow for Dabang Delhi K.C.
Naveen and co. were up and running in the season with five wins on the trot before they lost the remaining two fixtures in the first leg at Bengaluru. Their losing streak continued when they reached Pune, resulting in six straight losses in a row after five consecutive wins. They managed to win only one match out of the seven they played in the second leg. Their coach Krishan Kumar Hooda made a few changes in the starting 7 and worked on the team’s weaknesses. After which Dabang Delhi K.C. peaked at the right time and with four wins and two draws in Hyderabad. They secured a playoff berth by finishing in the sixth position on the points table. Their season came to an end when they lost their Eliminator match against Bengaluru Bulls by a scoreline of 56-24 margin..
Delhi had a good bunch of raiders on their side who added good value to the team. Naveen Kumar led his troops from the front with 258 points. Naveen Express enjoyed the captaincy challenge and also became the third best raider of the season. He met with a small injury but that didn’t affect his game to a major extent as he went on to play all the matches this season. Ashu Malik was the helping hand to Naveen Kumar. He played a key role for Dabang Delhi K.C. in the absence of his captain and scored 141 raid points. All-rounder Vijay Malik who missed out on the first half of the campaign made a statement on his return by scoring 74 raid points in 11 matches. Manjeet who had played only five vivo PKL matches in the past contributed with 62 raid points in Season 9.
In the defence section, the team had a few big names on paper but they couldn’t get going consistently. Vishal was their top man who took the scoring responsibility and came up with 58 tackle points. He was the only defender in the side to cross the 50 tackle points mark. Krishan was second on the list with 34 tackle points. Two of the most experienced defenders, Sandeep Dhull and Amit Hooda who scored 260 and 239 tackle points in their entire vivo Pro Kabaddi career till Season 8 didn’t have the best of seasons in the latest edition. They managed to score 31 and 29 tackle points in Season 9 respectively. Ravi Kumar and Vijay Kumar chipped in with 22 and 19 tackle points for the side.
Naveen Kumar looked promising as a captain as he bagged nine wins under his belt. The captain and the coach stressed on improving the quality of their defence throughout the season which eventually let them down. In comparison to their performance in Season 8 Dabang Delhi K.C. couldn’t make a lasting impression in the 9th edition.