Day one of the Season 6 VIVO Pro Kabaddi auction concluded on Wednesday among much enthusiasm with teams fighting hard in a battle to pick the perfect squad. While some things may have gone to plan and others not so, the teams will be satisfied with the overall composition of their squads at the end of the day as most of them managed to find a good combination of raiders, defenders and all-rounders to lead their title fight this season.
There weren’t too many surprises though as the big names fetched big prizes. The biggest among them being former Patna Pirates raider Monu Goyat, who got picked up by Haryana Steelers for a whopping 1.51 crore.
Teams chose to bank more on youth than experience as modern giants such as Rahul Chaudhari, Monu Goyat and Nitin Tomar fetched higher sums than experienced stalwarts like Anup Kumar and Manjeet Chhillar.
Successful combinations split
One of the biggest talking points from the auction was that many tried and tested combinations in both defence and offence parted ways this season, opening doors for new pairings and possibilities. Perhaps the most notable was the combination of Surender Nada and Mohit Chhillar, the defensive pillars of Haryana Steelers in the last season. While Haryana chose to retain Nada this time around, Chillar finds himself a new partner in Sandeep Kumar Dhull as he will be seen joining the ranks of Jaipur Pink Panthers.
Other combinations such as the extremely successful raiding duo of Rishank Devadiga and Nitin Tomar for U.P. Yoddha, Fazel Atrachali and Abozar Mighani for Gujarat Fortunegiants, also parted ways. Tomar went to Puneri Paltan and Gujarat let go of both their corners as Atrachali was bagged by U Mumba and Mighani by Telugu Titans.
Six players pass the Big C mark
One of the most anticipated events prior to the event, was seeing the first one crore bid taking place in a VIVO Pro Kabaddi auction. However, not many may have anticipated the number of players who passed the one crore mark.
A total of six players made it into the coveted one crore club starting from the Iranian sensation Fazel Atrachali, who was the first in the club with U Mumba making him a part of their team for exactly a crore.
It was the turn of the all-rounders next and Deepak Hooda and Nitin Tomar both were tied at 1.15 cr. Hooda will be seen in the Jaipur Pink Panthers threads while his former team Puneri Paltan picked up Tomar.
The auction ended with the big 3 raiders, Rahul Chaudhari, Monu Goyat and Rishank Devadiga. While Devadiga (1.11 cr) and Chaudhari (1.29 cr) were retained by their respective teams U.P. Yoddha and Telugu Titans, Goyat made a move to Haryana Steelers for a record sum of 1.51 crore.
Final Bid Match card makes things interesting
While the bidding war itself was extremely interesting on its own, the newly introduced Final Bid Match rule added some extra spice to the mix. Teams who may have based their plans around picking up certain key players in the auction had to face disappointment as the player in bid was eventually swooped in by their respective Season V teams.
The bidding wars for players such as Rahul Chaudhari, Rishank Devadiga and Surender Nada, for example, went down to the wire before they were taken back into their previous teams’ fold.
All in all, the auction managed to deliver on the excitement and also threw up a few unexpected moments of wonder. It was the perfect preview to what fans can expect from the coming season of VIVO Pro Kabaddi. Teams will now regroup and take stock as they prepare for the final auction day on Thursday. They will, no doubt, want to fortify the weak links in their team and expect tomorrow to be just as fierce an auction day.
To see the full squads after Day 1, click here.