Naveen masterclass, reminder of Pardeep's class - Five Takeaways from Day 1 of PKL9

Dabang Delhi's Naveen Kumar in action against U Mumba Pro Kabaddi League

A raiding masterclass from Naveen Kumar, Pardeep Narwal one-upping Rahul Chaudhari, three new rules and fans back in the stands - the opening day of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL9) had all the elements you could ask for.

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Here are five takeaways from day one of PKL9.

Naveen doing Naveen things

An average game for Naveen Kumar is a Super 10. By his lofty standards, he had an above-average game on Friday as he finished with 13 raid points and captained Dabang Delhi to a smooth win over U Mumba. He maintained a cool head, rotated his raiders well while the defence coolly went about its business. No fuss. Smooth sailing for the defending champions, with a sprinkle of Naveen magic.

Pardeep's blitzkrieg makes the difference

Pardeep Narwal looked fitter and faster than last year but remained unsuccessful for large parts of the game against Jaipur Pink Panthers. What he did do, though, was ensure he remained in the thick of things. He supported the defence, even picking up a green card for jersey pulling, and came good with his raiding at the end to take UP Yoddhas past the finish line. He finished with seven points...lesser than what you'd expect of him but it was enough to wrap up the win.

Siddharth Desai's 5kg dilemma

The Telugu Titans raider's comeback, after a long injury lay-off that ruled him out for a large majority of last season, ended in disappointment as he managed just four points in 10 raids. He looked off-colour and not as effective as he usually is. It was then that assistant coach Manjeet Chillar revealed in the press conference that Siddharth was recovering from a severe weight cut. As per the League's rules, players have to weigh less than 85kgs on the weigh-in date [which was on Thursday]. Siddharth had to cut 5kgs in quick time and that left him depleted. Looks like the "weight-cut" demon isn't troubling just India's wrestlers and boxers.

Fans are back in the stands, woot woot!

The Bengaluru fans turned up on a Friday and how! PKL opened its doors to fans after close to three years and the Shree Kanteerava indoor stadium was a myriad of colours. Some had Bengaluru Bulls painted on their faces, others came with a bunch of drums to cheer on Dabang Delhi. But there was one fan who stood out: he came dressed in traditional Rajasthani attire complete with a kurta, dhoti, safa [traditional turban] and a little embroidered umbrella. All this, while holding on to a cutout of Rahul Chaudhari's face. Good show, Bengaluru.

New rules for PKL9

The organisers have made three rule changes from PKL9: the lobby rule has been removed, teams can make seven substitutions and can feature 14 players in their matchday squads. More on that here.