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Wayward Warriors take on recharged Thalaivas.
Tamil Thalaivas will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: The Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Centre, Bengaluru.Bet Now
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No one would have ever imagined that the defending champions will be in the 10th spot after 8 games. They have lost their previous 2 games and look a shade of what they were in the last season. They started off well this season but as the games progressed they seem to have lost steam especially in the defence. Captain Maninder is one of the top raiders this season with 99 points from 76 successful raids but the rest of the star cast has not been able to perform.
The Thalaivas seem to be on a recharge mode ever since they got 4 TIE results which made them feel safe and now their confidence is sky high. With Manjeet, Prapanjan & Ajinkya Pawar working well while raiding, it is the defence under Surjeet Singh which has blown out all the opponents. Surjeet alone accounted for 8 tackle points in his last victory over the Haryana Steelers.
This is a match of 2 contrasting styles. Bengal Warriors has lost it in the mind while the Thalaivas are aiming for the sky with their confidence.
This should be a good match for the Tamil Thalaivas.
The defending champions are completely out of sorts this season. They became very predictable early on and the opposition teams were able to attack them at will. Expect for their captain Maninder, nothing has gone right for the Warriors. If their last two matches were any indication, the Warriors are not able to repair the damage done to their ship.
Initially it was predicted that Maninder may have fitness issues but he has not looked back since his first match. It is their defence which has let them down time and again. They have conceded 301 points in 8 matches which is quite expensive.
Though they have executed the highest Super raids this season they have also conceded 12 all outs. This has constantly kept them behind their opposition in this tournament. Most of their time goes in catching up and they end up on the losing side. In their last 2 matches they were outwitted by Haryana Steelers and then by the Puneri Paltan.
In the 10th spot after 8 games they have a negative score difference of 37 points.
All rounder Nabibaksh has been inconsistent throughout this tournament and has been quite predictable. Their major concern is that right corner cover combination has not worked. Azuzar Meghani has been ineffective most of the times.
Akash Pikalmunde was the only ray of hope in the last match as he scored 8 raid points against the Puneri Paltan. This will be a very tough match for the Warriors against a resurgent Thalaiva team.
Thalaivas are generally slow starters and this is evident from the points table. After a couple of matches they were placed 10th with just 6 points and now after 8 matches they have moved up the ladder to the 4th position with 27 points.
Their biggest asset is their defence which has earned them an average of 33 successful team tackles at an average of 11 per match. Captain Surjeet Singh is the most successful defender of the season with 30 successful tackles till now.
Last few games have been particularly good for the Thalaivas as they have won games just on the basis of their defence.
They have inflicted the highest number of all outs among all the teams, 13 to be precise and have conceded 11 all outs though most of them came in the first 3-4 matches. But post that the Thalaivas have regrouped, recharged themselves and they are beating the best in the business.
Raider Manjeet has earned 55 raid points in 7 matches and he has got good support from Prapanjan, MS Athul, Bhavani Rajput and Ajinkya Pawar.
But Tamil Thalaivas have been successful because of their deadly tackles. The top 2 defenders of the season are from the Thalaiva camp. Surjeet Singh and Sagar. Both have earned 54 tackle points in 8 games. They should have a good outing against the Warriors.
Tamil Thalaivas are the clear favourites with the kind of form they are in. They have some good options in their raiding party and their defence has been water tight in the last few games. Right corner Sagar has been in phenomenal form with his precise ankle holds. Surjeet has been hunting on every raider coming his way.
The Bengal Warriors are clearly dependent on captain Maninder for their basic income. Nabibaksh has been performing but he does not have the surprise element anymore. If the Warriors want to give a tough time to the Thalaivas , they will have to make sure that they don't leak points through their porous defence. Maninder will need to work overtime to keep his side afloat, else the Warriors will slide down further in the points table.
Tamil Thalaivas will win.
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