Dabang Delhi T.T.C has been a constant in the tournament for the past three seasons, having to change very little in terms of mentality and setup of the team, but constantly reinventing themselves based on new challenges.
Starting with the coaching set-up, Dabang Delhi has maintained consistency by drafting Sachin Shetty, who helped the team to the title last year. They have also brought-in Vesna Ojstersek, the ex-Falcons TTC's foreign coach, who had led them to the finals as their foreign coach for the season.
Along with this base to build on, Dabang is the only team to have retained a player this season, with the franchise from the capital city showing tremendous faith in captain Sathiyan Gnanasekaran. The feisty paddler from Chennai is India’s highest-ranked player in the world in the history of Indian table tennis. The World Rank No 24 has qualified for the ITTF Table Tennis World Cup to take place in Chengdu, China, later this year. He also brings the experience of winning Season 2 to the new look franchise which will need an element of stability following a change in format.
Joining him is Romanian no. 1, and UTT Season 2 finalist, Bernadette Szocs, Swedish ace Jon Persson, who is ranked third in the country and Senior National Championship winner (team) and runner-up (women’s singles) Krittwika Sinha Roy to complete the senior player's lineup.
In the junior category, Dabang have put their faith in Parth Virmani and Naina. Parth had a successful outing at the Youth National Table Tennis Championships, winning the Youth Boys team event and finishing as a semi-finalist in the Youth Boys doubles event. Naina too had a successful outing at the same event, finishing as a runner-up in the team and as a semi-finalist in the singles event.
All in all, Dabang Delhi look like a team set to defend their crown and are not looking at any other outcome as rightly put by CEO – “We want to replicate the win this year.”
Catch Dabang Delhi in action when the UTT begins on the 25th of July 2019.