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Representative image (Photo/ Pro Kabaddi League)
Representative image (Photo/ Pro Kabaddi League)

Pro Kabaddi League: Battle for playoff spot heats up

ANI | Updated: Feb 10, 2022 14:34 IST

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], February 10 (ANI): In-form Haryana Steelers will face Puneri Paltan on Friday in the Pro Kabaddi League Season 8. The Steelers, under coach Rakesh Kumar, have been in good form with their raiders complimenting the excellent work done by the defensive pair of Jaideep and Mohit.
The Paltan team have also been in decent shape with raiders Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat dominating the mat. Paltan have played the least amount of matches which means they still harbour hopes of a Top 6 finish despite lying in the bottom half.
The second match of the Triple Panga night will see Season 6 champions Bengaluru Bulls take on Jaipur Pink Panthers. The Bulls have looked disjointed in their recent outings (1 win in 5 matches), but captain Pawan Sehrawat will know the importance of a win to keep their hopes of a Top 2 finish alive. The final game of the night will see UP Yoddha lock horns with the Gujarat Giants.
Jaipur Pink Panthers have been hovering in the mid-table throughout the season. They have been unstoppable whenever their raiders Arjun Deshwal and Deepak Hooda have found their form. But the consistency has been their major challenge. They will need to produce another flawless performance to beat Bengaluru Bulls and stay favourites for a Playoff berth.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, their star raider Arjun Deshwal is having a dip in form right at the crucial stages of the tournament. The usually reliable raider has looked a little slow on the mat in recent outings. Luckily for the team, Deepak Hooda has upped his game which should take away some weight off Arjun's shoulders.
The Bulls' defence has been equally inconsistent with Saurabh Nandal the only reliable performer. The left-right combination of Deepak Hooda and Arjun Deshwal could unsettle the Bengaluru defence. Bengaluru's biggest strength is their attack with captain Pawan Sehrawat leading from the front. It will be wise for them to take the attack to Jaipur's defence from the first whistle.
In Bharat, Chandran Ranjit and Deepak Narwal, there is enough back-up ammunition for the Bulls to play an aggressive game with very little Do-or-Die raids. Pushing the game to a high-scoring affair will increase their chances of a victory - something that will be crucial for them to stay in the battle for Top 2.
The third match of the Triple Panga night will see 'Record Breaker' Pardeep Narwal on the mat. The star raider had endured a difficult beginning to his life at new team UP Yoddha. But he is beginning to find his rhythm on the mat and that will be very crucial in Yoddha's race for a Playoff spot. The team will need big victories in their remaining matches to clinch a Top 6 spot which means an attacking strategy is definitely on the cards. In Surender Gill, they have an excellent raider who peaks in the second half of the match. If Pardeep starts well, Surender Gill can be preserved for a second-half blitzkrieg.
Gujarat Giants will be no easy pushovers, however. They weren't convincing in their win against the Telugu Titans, but they remain with a mathematical possibility of making it to the Playoffs - something coach Manpreet Singh will be keen to tell his players. Girish Ernak had a solid day at the left corner position which will make his one-on-one battles with Surender Gill very interesting. If Gujarat's coveted cover combination of Sunil Kumar and Parvesh Bhainswal can stop the Yoddha raiders, the Gujarat team will definitely be in with a chance. (ANI)