New Delhi, July 21: Puneri Paltan and Haryana Steelers will play their first game in the Pro Kabaddi League Season 7 on Monday (July 22) at Gachibowly Indoor Stadium, Hyderabad.
As this season's format is a double round-robin format, both the teams would be aiming for a winning start in the tournament.
Puneri Paltan made a bold move going into the auctions ahead of the seventh season of PKL as they decided to start afresh and didn't retain any player. A poor show in the previous edition saw the side finish fourth in Zone A and miss out on the playoffs berth for the first time in four years.
Going into the auction with virtually no players, the side used its Final Bid Match card to retain ace raider Nitin Tomar and burly defender Girish Ernak. Puneri Paltan have appointed former India and World Cup winning captain Anup Kumar as their coach. Paltan look solid in their defence and balanced in the raiding department.
Puneri Paltan Starting 7: Nitin Tomar (R), Darshan Kaidan (R), R Sriram (R), Surjeet Singh (defender), Hadi Tajik (defender), Girish Maruti (defender), Sagar Krishna (all-rounder).
Haryana Steelers were formed in 2017 and the franchise had a dream start in the opening season itself by making it to the play-offs. However, Haryana Steelers failed to replicate their success in the second season and finished at the bottom of the points table in Zone A.
Aiming to lift their maiden Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) title, Haryana Steelers named ace defender Dharmaraj Cheralathan as their captain for the upcoming seventh season. Defence has been the hallmark of Steelers but they look a slightly inexperienced in their raiding unit.
Haryana Steelers Starting 7: Selvamani K (R), Vikas Khandola (R), Vikas Chhillar (R), Dharamraj Cheralathan (C, defender), Vikram Kandola (defender), Vikas Kale (defender), Sunil (defender).
Captain: Nitin Tomar
Vice captain: Dharamraj Cheralathan