After topping the vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 7 league table and being among the favourites to win the title, Dabang Delhi K.C. were outdone by Bengal Warriors on the final step. Naveen Kumar’s phenomenal 18-point performance proved insufficient as the defence managed to score just 3 tackle points. In the Season 8 auction, the team management went after some well-established names in a bid to add the composure of experience to their already fiery mix of youth.

Some big names will be seen in the Dabang Delhi K.C. outfit this season. Let us look at how the team is looking with the new additions.

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Youth-focussed Retentions

Dabang Delhi K.C. retained their star raider from the previous season, Naveen Kumar, before the auction. They also had a clear eye on developing the other young talent from the previous season. Along with Naveen, the team retained existing New Young Players (NYPs) Mohit, Sumit, Balram, and Neeraj Narwal. Neeraj had shown remarkable application in the 4 opportunities that he got in Season 7, scoring 3 Super Raids and a Super 10.

All-rounder Vijay was the other retention from the previous season. Vijay was an essential part of the Season 5 title-winning Patna Pirates squad. Since then, he has performed well in both attack and defence. He is currently just one point shy of completing 200 points in the league.

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Heavy Investment in Veterans

In the Season 8 player auction, Dabang Delhi K.C. went big on Sandeep Narwal, Jeeva Kumar, and Ajay Thakur. The three players combined cost the team 1.5 Crore of their 4.4 Crore purse amount. They also bought the most successful defender in vivo Pro Kabaddi so far, Manjeet Chhillar.

The quartet will be joined by the previous season’s captain Joginder Singh Narwal, who was released but later bought back in the auction. With five big names in their ranks, Dabang Delhi K.C. will hope that Naveen Kumar is quickly revived whenever he is sent to the bench. Since Naveen has been the team’s primary raider, they will hope to keep him on the mat for as long as possible.

Ajay Thakur and Manjeet Chhillar will also serve to mentor the young players the franchise has retained.

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A Mix of Specialists and All-Rounders

The Dabang Delhi K.C. raiding department looks impressive with Naveen Kumar and Ajay Thakur leading the way for the other. Puneri Paltan’s Sushant Sail, who impressed spectators with his acrobatic raiding will also be seen raiding alongside the duo. The team will hope that young Neeraj Narwal shines in the opportunities he gets so that the bench strength improves and the team is never short of options. Iranian Emad Sedaghatnia also enters the mix to add unpredictability to the attack.

The defence looks rock-solid with the experience of Joginder Narwal and Sandeep Narwal in the Corners, combined with Jeeva Kumar and Manjeet Chhillar manning the Covers. These four players are among the most experienced players in the league and can make life difficult for any raiding unit.

The team also has a good number of all-rounders who can balance the squad in both departments. While Vijay has shown that he is capable of a strong hold, Sandeep Narwal’s prowess in raiding under pressure is well-known in the league. Manjeet Chhillar also has a few tricks up his sleeves as a raider though he doesn’t raid as often as he used to anymore.

Dabang Delhi K.C. have formed a well-balanced side on paper with options available for virtually every position. Although picking the starting 7 might prove to be a challenge with so much talent in the team, it will likely not be a problem they mind tackling.

vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 8 starts 22 December, 2021. Catch all the LIVE action on the Star Sports Network and on Disney+Hotstar and follow Pro Kabaddi on InstagramFacebook & Twitter for all the latest updates!