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Pro Kabaddi: Bengal Warriors Eye Maiden Title With Stable Core and Well-Rounded Squad

The Warriors have kept their faith in Head Coach Jagdish Kumble to continue his good work at the helm, and enable him to find the final puzzle piece to secure Bengal Warriors' first title.

News18 Sports

Updated:October 6, 2018, 4:26 PM IST
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Pro Kabaddi: Bengal Warriors Eye Maiden Title With Stable Core and Well-Rounded Squad
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It wasn't until the third season of the Pro Kabbadi League that Bengal Warriors managed to put up a decent show in the franchise-based competition. After finishing in the bottom half for the first two seasons, the Warriors made the playoffs in 2016.

Though they were not able to capitalise on the qualification, the improvement made in 2016 was encouraging. It took another two years for Warriors to form a side that posed as serious challengers for the title. But they had to be content playing second fiddle to the raiding exploits of Pardeep Narwal.

The Warriors have kept their faith in Head Coach Jagdish Kumble to continue his good work at the helm, and enable him to find the final puzzle piece to secure Bengal Warriors' first title.

Bengal Warriors retained captain Surjeet Singh and star raider, Maninder Singh ahead of the auctions and tried to re-sign majority of their old players.

Jang Kun Lee and Ran Singh were brought back using the Final Bid Match card. Ameares Mondal, Ravindra Kumawat and Shrikanth Tewthia were re-purchased.

A well-laid out strategy helped Kumble have the core of last year's squad back. "I felt the left side of the defence was a bit weak. So our main aim was to buy a left cover. We were able to buy Ziaur Rahman, the Bangladeshi player, and Vijin Thangadurai who can play in both cover positions," Kumble told Firstpost.

The purchases of Mahesh Goud and Rakesh Narwal adds depth to the raiding side of the team.

Apart from the experienced personnel, the Warriors also boast of youngsters, with Coach Kumble picking out all-rounder Ravindra Kumavat and raider Amit Kumar as the men to watch out.

Kumble will be delighted with regaining the core from last season despite losing them ahead of the auctions. The continuity will be a massive advantage for the Warriors as they bid for their maiden title.

Speaking about the pre-season training, Kumble said, ”We have excessively focused on the fitness of the players. Till mid-August, we gave priority to fitness building and that was the main aspect of our training for over a month. We only started working on skills and strategy in the last four weeks.”

"Our physios have given each player separate workouts. Each player has their own needs. It is very important in a long competition like Pro Kabaddi to be at the peak fitness levels when the league begins," he added.

While confident of his side, even Kumble is not keen to name any pre-tournament favourites this season, but he admits that nothing less than the trophy would satisfy his team.

"We have a good team. However, it is difficult to predict which team will come out on top. Maybe after 2-3 weeks, we will get a fair idea. We missed the final despite getting two opportunities to qualify, so this time we don't want to make any mistakes. Winning the title is our objective," he said.
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| Edited by: Suyash Upadhyaya
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