Similar to every campaign since U.P. Yoddhas’ entry into Pro Kabaddi, they made it to the playoffs in Season 9 but couldn’t quite go all the way to clinch the title last year. Ahead of Season 10, they have got a good mix of young and experienced players and have shown faith in their top performers from last season to lead them once again.
The Yoddhas made seven retentions ahead of the PKL Season 10 Player Auction. Star players like Pardeep Narwal and Nitesh Kumar were retained from the Elite Retained Players (ERP) category whereas Sumit, Ashu Singh and Surender Gill were picked from the Retained Young Players (RYP) category.
Youngsters like Anil Kumar and Mahipal were retained from the Existing New Young Players category and the Yoddhas didn’t exercise their Final Bid Match (FBM) card on any of their former players from last year at the Season 10 Player Auction.
Starring for them in attack for Season 10 will be Pardeep Narwal, who is one of the biggest names in the world of kabaddi and his presence in any side is enough to strike fear in the opposition camp. The Dubki King is the leading raid points scorer in PKL history with 1568 raid points and on his day, the Record-Breaker has the ability to single handedly blow away any opposition with his raiding skills.
He will be reuniting with his ever reliable raiding partner Surender Gill who notched up 140 raid points in Season 9 while producing six Super Raids and eight Super 10s along the way.
Two more promising prospects, Anil Kumar and Mahipal who made their debuts in Pro Kabaddi playing for the Yoddhas last year, will also look to make the most of the opportunities coming their way in the upcoming season. Gulveer Singh who has been a part of U.P. Yoddhas camp for three seasons will also be hoping to step up his game and make an impact.
In defence, the formidable corner pair of Nitesh Kumar and Sumit have gained a lot of experience over the years with the Yoddhas. Nitesh has accumulated 313 tackle points in his PKL career so far whereas Sumit has scored 193 tackle points in 67 matches. Kiran Magar who looked promising in his debut season with 21 tackle points will also look to take his defensive game to the next level for the Yoddhas in the upcoming campaign.
Meanwhile, for the covers position, Harendra Kumar and Ashu Singh are likely to be the Yoddhas’ best options in that area. Over the course of their PKL careers, Harendra has amassed 76 tackle points while Ashu has produced 140 tackle points.
All-rounder Vijay Malik is another talent who could prove to be a driving force for U.P. Yoddhas in PKL Season 10. The experienced all-rounder has scored 443 points in 96 matches so far. Another U.P. Yoddhas all-rounder Gurdeep (57 points) will also be eager to have a positive impact on the outcome of his team’s fortunes in the landmark 10th edition of PKL.
Coached by Jasveer Singh, U.P. Yoddhas will have big expectations this season having been consistently qualifying for the playoffs since their PKL entry. Needless to say, head coach Jasveer Singh will be hoping to guide them to title glory in the upcoming campaign and certainly boasts a good blend of experienced and youth players to make that happen. He will be hoping that his side can click from the start and if they can fire as a unit, there aren’t many teams that can deny the Yoddhas from getting their hands on the Pro Kabaddi title.