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Bengal Warriors vs Haryana Steelers, Pro Kabaddi (PKL), Today Match Prediction

Shree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, Bengaluru

Former Champions Bengal Warriors vs New kids on the block Haryana Steelers

  • Bengal Warriors were champions of Season 7
  • Vikash Kandola led Haryana Steelers were the surprise package of season 8
  • Both teams failed to qualify for the play-off last season

Haryana Steelers will win.

Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: Shree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, Bengaluru

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Former Champions Bengal Warriors could not repeat their stand-out performance of season 7 last time. They were lackluster, inefficient, and could not adapt to the format. Their star raider Maninder Singh had to fight a lone battle most of the time. He did not get much raiding support from youngsters in the team. The Bengal defense too broke down often thus neutralizing Maninder Singh’s efforts. Can they turn around the clock? 

Haryana Steelers were one of the most vibrant sides of season 8. Raider Vikash Kandola was at his best in most matches notching Super 10’s at will. Defenders Ravi Kumar and Surender Nada were efficient with their tackles. But after dominating the 1st half of the season, they ran out of steam and failed to qualify for the playoff. It was quite disappointing as they remained in the top 4 for most of the season. This time they will like to make amends.

While Surender Nada has moved to Bengal Warriors this season, Haryana will have a band of young raiders like Rakesh Narwal, Manjeet, and Prapanjan. This will be an entertaining encounter as both teams will look to get into the groove at the earliest.

Bengal Warriors Preview

Bengal Warriors was a team that terrorized the opposition with daring raids and devastating tackles. They had the likes of Rishank Devadiga, Ran Singh Raniya, and Nabibaksha who caught every raider that came in their range. Star Raider Maninder Singh was unstoppable as he earned 262 raid points last season which included 16 Super 10’s.

But the winners of season 7 never took off in season 8 as they finished 9th with only 9 wins from 22 games. They had a brittle defense which let them down from good positions. 

This season they have retained their star raider Maninder Singh while drafting young raiders like Shrikant Jadhav, Akash Pikalmunde, and Suyog Gaikar. Their biggest heist at the auctions was getting defenders Girish Ernak, Surender Nada, and all-rounder Amit Hooda. 

This is a new look Bengal Warrior side under coach K Bhaskar who was instrumental in helping Jaipur Pink Panthers win the inaugural season of PKL. Bengal Warriors defense had a terrible season 8 as they had the least successful team tackles. They conceded 772 points in 22 games while being all-out 25 times. 

With a new look defense, the Bengal Warriors will hope to rewrite history. Though Maninder Singh is back in shape, he is vulnerable to injuries. Bengal Warriors will hope he does not break down early in the season. It will also be a slight headache for the coach as he will have to use Girish Ernak and Surender Nada judiciously in that left corner. Right Corner Shubham Shinde will have to be agile and accurate while forging a combination with right cover Viabhav Garje.

It is pay-back time for the Bengal Warriors.

Haryana Steelers Preview

Haryana Steelers turned out to be the most entertaining team of season 8. Coach Rakesh Kumar inspired this young team and went on to beat some of the bigger teams consistently. Their star was raider Vikash Kandola. He scored 180 raid points in 22 games while being extremely consistent and precise. He was well supported by Rohit Gulia.

All-rounder Rajesh Narwal along with defenders Surender Nada and Ravi Kumar formed the backbone through the season. After a consistent first half of season 8, Haryana Steelers lost a bit of steam at the end of the season. They lost a few consecutive games as well as tied a few matches that they should have won. They finished 7th in the points table while remaining in the top 4 through the first half of the season.

This time they could not get back Vikash Kandola at the auctions. Haryana Steelers has a young brigade of raiders who can pack a punch. Led by Prapanjan, the Steelers have Manjeet, Rakesh Narwal, Lovepreet Singh, and Vinay among their raiders.

Defenders Jaideep, Joginder Narwal, and Mohit form an unbreakable defense. Jaideep had 61 successful tackles in season 8 including 5 Hi 5’s. He was in good touch for his state team at the recent National games.

But the biggest move that the Steelers have made is by signing Manpreet Singh as their coach. The temperamental player was part of the title-winning Patna Pirates team, he took Gujarat Fortune Giants all the way to the finals in their first season and has introduced some uncanny and unconventional ways of playing kabaddi. Hope he brings out the best in these youngsters.

This will be a face-off between the young raiders of Bengal Warriors and the uncharacteristic methods of coach Manpreet for Haryana. Bengal Warriors will be confident about their defense with the likes of Girish Ernak and Surender Nada. Girish will know a thing or two about coach Manpreet as he played under him at the Gujarat Fortune Giants.

Raider Maninder Singh will be difficult to stop as he is not only huge but very agile too. Haryana Steelers will rely on the speed of raiders like Manjeet and Rakesh Narwal while they will expect defender Jaideep to find ways to trap Maninder.

This will be an animated game as coaches of both teams, K Bhaskar and Manpreet are quite vocal about their emotions. 

This will also set the tone for both these teams who have a lot to prove to themselves this season.

Haryana Steelers will win.

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Author: Pankaj Khiladino