Tamil Thalaivas is one of four new teams to debut in VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5, and they are preparing with great enthusiasm and making all the right noises ahead of their game against Telugu Titans in what will be the league opener in Hyderabad on Friday evening.

The official jersey of the Tamil Nadu team was launched last week in Chennai in the presence of co-owners Sachin Tendulkar and N Prasad alongside cinema celebrities Allu Arvind, Allu Arjun and Ram Charan Teja. Also present was acting genius Kamal Haasan as the brand ambassador of the team.

Speaking at the event, Tendulkar recalled how his love for kabaddi took form. "I was there to witness the first match in Mumbai three years ago. The kind of energy and the vibration inside the stadium, it was spectacular. I have always admired sportsmen and when I went there, the speed and agility of the players were just incredible," he said.

Like a good sport, Tendulkar was also quick to answer when asked who would be his non-kabaddi picks if he were to form a team. “If I have to get a defender - it will have to be MS Dhoni. He doesn't miss much and would be great in that position. A raider is someone who has to hold his breath. When it comes to holding your breath, I don't think anyone can match Shankar Mahadevan," he said.

Thalaivas fans have high hopes for the team, and the team also understands how important their support is. In order to connect with their fans, the Thalaivas have come up with a signature celebration style named the ‘Jallikattu Kick’, which they will perform on winning a point. Ajay Thakur, captain of the southern outfit, shed light on his interaction with fans in the lead-up to Season 5.

"When we toured the districts, I was witness to the love people showered on us. In most places that we visited, people would come in good numbers and make us feel special. The sport has its origin in Tamil Nadu and it is no surprise that people here adore kabaddi players so much," Thakur told theTimes of India. "Captaining this side is a huge responsibility. I am entrusted with the role of taking the team along with me and I just hope to deliver," he added.