With the auction over, we have a good idea of how the teams are going to line up. The teams are yet to sign players from services. This also gives us an opportunity to identify what position the teams will have to target in the auction for the services players.
Let’s start with the team that finished in 4th place last season. Bengal Warriors.
Bengal Warriors have retained the core of their squad. They retained Captain Nilesh Shinde and Girish Ernak. Having secured both the corners which worked very well, they went ahead and addressed their problem position from last season: Strength and depth in the raiding department. Raider scored on average 15.63 points per game. The third lowest total. Patna Pirates on the other hand scored 20.25 raid points per game.
Lets have a look at the points scored by their raiders
Successful Raids by Bengals Raiders
And also their Success Rates:
Nitin Madane is a good raider but his fitness is a doubt. If he can stay fit he will be a valuable asset to Bengal Warriors and they will be hoping he can lead their line for the season. He was among the top raiders in season 1. He had a great raid success rate of 72%.
Surjeet Narwal is another raider who was a star in season 1. His season with Bengaluru Bulls was rather underwhelming. Bengal will be hoping he can hit the heights of season 1 again this term.
Jang Kun Lee had a great third season. He had a raid success rate of 67%. His 64 points in season 3 was also his highest tally in a PKL season. He had the 6th highest number of points in season 3. If he can continue the same uptrend in form and replicate his form, then Bengal have a gem in their hands.
Another interesting raider they have signed is Ravi Dalal. Ravi is similar to Surjeet and Nitin. All 3 had great first seasons. Then, injuries struck and either they did not appear or could not replicate the same form in the next two seasons.
Bengal have placed their bets on these three being able to reproduce their best form. If they can reproduce their form, they will have a formidable raiding department.
They have good backup raiders in Mahendra Rajput and Srikanth Jadhav. Their raiding department is sufficiently strong to secure a playoff place. If they can retain Nitin Tomar, then their raiding department would be among the best in the league.
Bengal Warriors Have their Corners Covered!
An review of Bengal’s defenders Tackle success rate:
Bengal Warriors Defense
Defenders Tackle Success Rate
Defense is where Bengal Warriors have been great and they have gone and further strengthened the defense. The two corners Girish Ernak and Captain Nilesh Shinde are experienced corners and are very good at what they do. Bajirao Hodage who has an almost telepathic relationship with Nilesh Shinde on the pitch was lost at the auction. In comes Vishal Mane as his replacement. Arguably a better player than Bajirao. Left Cover was always a problem position for Bengal. Nitin More filled the position last season. But, his performance was rather underwhelming. He made just 16 tackles in the entire tournament. And of those 16, 11 were unsuccessful. A paltry success rate of 30%. For the Cover position, Bengal have drafted two very good players.
Arun had his breakthrough season in PKL 3. He made 35 tackles with 12 of them successful. A success rate of 35%. But he caught the eye with the 5 super tackles he made over the course of the season. He has a rashness which will disappear as the 23 year old matures.
The other Cover player they signed is Ravi Kumar. Ravi was part of the best defense of PKL3. He was an important part of the Puneri’s Defense. He averages a good 53% tackle success rate. He is strong and has good timing in the tackle.
Bengal have recruited very well in the auction. They have retained the core of the squad and then upgraded the rest of the squad. They have placed a lot of faith in the 3 raiders who have a lot to prove. Their performances will define how their season goes.