U.P. Yoddhas have been a synonym for consistency in vivo Pro Kabaddi. Pardeep Narwal took over the captaincy midseason and that change worked in favour of U.P. Yoddhas. They would have been more than happy to improve their Season 8 performance but they made it to the Eliminator nonetheless. They not only had prominent players to play in the starting 7 but also a good backup for these players. The players on the side knew how to go about their job and the players returned with positive results. The Yoddhas had a good balance in their squad which helped them to make it count in Season 9.
The Yoddhas started their season in a watchful manner. They managed to win three out of the six matches that they played in the first leg of vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 9. UP changed their captain midseason from Nitesh Kumar to Pardeep Narwal after they won only four out of the nine matches that they played. This move helped the Yoddhas as they remained undefeated in the remaining matches of the Pune leg. In the final leg at Hyderabad, the Pardeep-led team won five out of the eight matches to finish the league stage at the fourth position. In a tense Eliminator 2, they lost in the tie-breaker that meant curtains for them in the tournament.
Skipper Pardeep Narwal was the top asset for the side with 220 raid points. He was not just excellent with his decision-making skills but also his raiding prowess on the mat. The Yoddhas missed the services of their star raider Surender Gill in quite a few matches of the second half of the tournament due to injury but he managed to score 140 raid points in the 14 matches that he played. Rohit Tomar was effective in the absence of Gill and became the third best raider for the Yoddhas. The energetic raider played his part by taking the pressure off other raiders and amassed 69 raid points in the season. To add to that, Tomar also added 17 tackle points to his tally.
On the defence front, Sumit and Ashu Singh were the reliable tacklers for the franchise as they scored 54 and 49 tackle points respectively. They stood tall as the defensive pillars against their opponents and guarded the Yoddhas to the best of their ability. The all-rounder Gurdeep looked impressive with his defensive skills and scored 35 tackle points. Nitesh Kumar wasn’t at his best in captaincy and in defence but managed to secure 34 tackle points for the side. Sandeep Narwal joined the Yoddhas midseason and played seven matches in which he contributed with 12 tackle points and 10 raid points.
The Yoddhas looked in total control throughout the tournament but gave away some crucial points in the Eliminator and there was no going back in that knockout encounter. They have been among the consistent teams in vivo Pro Kabaddi and Season 9 was no different by their standards.