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Inaugural Southern Derby of Season 9
Telegu Titans will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: Shree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, BengaluruBet Now
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Former champions Bengaluru Bulls enter season 9 without their former star Pawan Sehrawat. Fans had got so used to seeing Pawan in the Bulls colors that it will take some time for them to get used to him not being in the squad. Bulls had a very good run last season but they lost steam at the fag-end of the tournament and lost in the play-off. This time they have rearranged their combinations and have roped in a few players from Haryana Steelers and Dabang Delhi. Coach Ranjeet Sehrawat will have his task cut out.
Telegu Titans have given indications that they are over their disappointing last season and have one of the best team combinations to start. They have decided to follow the “attack is the best form of defense” formula. With a raiding heavy strategy, they might just be able to run over the Bulls. Both sides have collided 19 times in the PKL with the Bulls having won 12 of those encounters while 4 have ended up in a “tie”.
Both sides have some brilliant raiders which make this inaugural southern derby very interesting.
Former Champions Bengaluru Bulls had quite a few surprises as they decided not to retain Hi Flyer Pawan Sehrawat for season 9. It was his raiding prowess that helped them reach the semi-finals of season 8 where they lost to eventual champions Dabang Delhi.
Pawan Sehrawat was the star of season 8 as he finished on top of the charts with 304 raid points which included 18 Super 10’s. But he will not be part of the Bulls anymore. Bengaluru Bulls roped in raider Vikash Kandola for this season as they bought his at a whopping price of 1.7 crore in the auctions. Vikash was the star for Haryana Steelers in the last season with an impressive collection of 174 raid points from 22 games. He will have to rekindle the same touch this time for the Bulls.
The Bulls retained the young Bharat Naresh who played as an able sidekick to Pawan last season. Bharat was rewarded for this consistency and this time he will have to forge a lethal partnership with Vikash Kandola. Bulls have also roped in Nepalese raider Lal Manohar Yadav along with retaining veteran G B More.
Bulls have their defense sorted as they have the services of players like Aman, Saurav Nandal, and Mahendra Singh. But they seem to have very few options for the right corner- cover region. They will have to rely on the services of Yash Hooda, Mayur Kadam, and other all-rounders.
The Telegu Titans had a blast during the auctions as they roped in some big names. They hit a jackpot as they roped in Monu Goyat and Abhishek Singh while retaining Superstar Siddharth Desai and Rajneesh. The Titans are the strongest team on paper as they spent well on getting right corner “Hawk” Ravinder Pahal, Surjeet Singh, Parvesh Bhaiswal as well as Vishal Bharadwaj.
Monu Goyat and Abhishek Singh earned 254 raid points collectively for their respective teams. Though Siddharth Desai score 221 points in his debut season, he was cornered by the opposition throughout season 8. But he is still a force to reckon with. This trident of raiders can wreak havoc in the opposition camp.
The major shake-up in the Telegu Titans camp is because of their disappointing show last season as they finished last with just a win from 22 games. They conceded 851 points last season which was the highest and conceded the second-highest all-outs.
This time they have left no stone unturned and have come up with a deadly combination of raiders and defenders. The Titans have some of the best defenders on the circuit.
Defender Left cover Parvesh Bhaiswal executed the highest Super tackles last season while right cover Surjeet scored 53 tackle points from 20 games for his team. More will be expected from left-corner Ravinder Pahal who is known for his deadly ankle holds. Coach Venkatesh Goud and his deputy Manjeet Chillar have all the ammunition to blast the opposition this season and emerge as the rightful champions.
Expect a heavy downpour of points in this inaugural southern derby. Both teams will have high expectations from their raiders. Bengaluru Bulls have tasted success very early in the season every time they have entered the mat. But that was because of their star raider Pawan Sehrawat. This time they will look forward to Vikash Kandola recreating the same magic.
Telegu Titans will look forward to starting the season with a win, something which has eluded them for a long time. It took them over 10 games to win their first match last season. This time they seem to have a lot of tricks up their sleeve. Just the thought of facing the trio of raiders like Monu Goyat, Siddharth Desai, and Abhishek will terrorize any opposition. Telegu Titans seem to have the best cover combination with Surjeet manning the right cover position while Parvesh Bhaishwal takes the left cover mark.
This clash will be a spicy one as we can expect histrionics from the very first raid.
Telegu Titans will win.
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