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The last northern derby at Pune.
UP Yodha will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi, PuneBet Now
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Time is a great leveler. The defending champions started the season with some dominating performances but the long season took a toll and Dabang Delhi find themselves in the 9th spot in the points table.
Contrastingly the UP Yodha had a slow start to their campaign. But they have recovered in their last few games to move into the top 6. Both teams have been through a lot but they still need to put in the hard yards to stay afloat for the playoff.
Dabang Delhi got thrashed by the Jaipur Pink Panthers in their last game. Naveen Kumar was completely neutralized and was kept off the mat for over almost 3/4th of the game. That was a big blow to Dabang. The UP Yodha defeated the Telegu Titans in their last game. Though Pardeep Narwal was sidelined by the Titans, raider Surender Gill and defender Sumit took the Yodha past the finish line.
The last match at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune will decide the fate of Dabang Delhi. If they lose this one, it will be next to impossible for them to qualify for the playoff.
Dabang Delhi are gamblers. They won the title last season and for the first 5 games this season, they looked unbeatable. But it took just a game against the Patna Pirates where the defending champions took a wrong turn and since then nothing has worked for them.
After losing 5 games on the trot they beat the Telegu Titans and their fans thought that this would mark the revival of Dabang. But immediately in the next game, they got thrashed by the Jaipur Pink Panthers. The Pink Panthers strategically cornered Naveen Kumar keeping him off the mat for over 30 minutes in the match. All-rounder Vijay Malik scored a Super 10 but could not really set the mat on fire. It is surprising that Dabang Delhi has not used Vijay at all this season. He was one of the best raiders of season 8.
The Dabang defense was short of ideas in the last game as raiders Arjun Deshwal and Rahul Chaudhary scored Super 10’s. The Pink Panthers rubbed enough salt in the wounds of the defending champions by inflicting 4 all-outs in the match.
Naveen Kumar has scored 149 raid points from 119 successful raids. But Dabang has been able to execute just 118 successful team tackles in 13 games.
Young raider Ashu Malik has scored 5 Super raids.
Dabang Delhi has scored 517 team points while conceding 510. They are the toppers in both sections among all the teams.
They have inflicted 19 all-outs and conceded 22. Most of these all-outs have come in their last 5 games.
The game against the UP Yodha will be very tough and crucial for the defending champions. They have lost their rhythm as well as sync in their defense. They have been decoded by their opponents. Naveen Kumar will have a challenging time ahead as he will be forced to reinvent himself or face the consequences. Dabang does not have many matches to recover. If they do not reboot in time, they may not be able to defend their title.
The UP Yodha has woken up at the right time in the season. They started off well but mid-season they looked vulnerable. They lost a few crucial games and were relegated to the bottom of the points table. Fortunately, the UP Yodha got its act together and they have done well in the last few games.
They have not lost any of their last 4 games though a couple of those matches ended in a TIE. They shared the honors with the Haryana Steelers and then with the Bengal Warriors. They should have won the match against the Bengal Warriors but lost the opportunity due to a tactical blunder in their last raid. It was an explosive contest as young raider Rohit Tomar blasted the opposition with 16 points which included a couple of Super raids.
The UP defense lacked the sting in that game as the Bengal raider looted 18 points in that match. These are a few areas that Yodha needs to work on. The Yodha won their next 2 games comfortably and they are currently placed 5th in the points table after playing 13 games. This will be their last match at Pune as they will head to Hyderabad for the remainder of the season.
The Yodha has inflicted 21 all-out in 13 games and has conceded 17.
They have executed 14 Super raids courtesy of raiders like Pardeep Narwal, Surender Gill, and Rohit Tomar.
The Yodha has also conducted 11 Super tackles which prove that their defense is rock-solid.
The UP Yodha has a great record over Dabang Delhi. They have won 5 out of their 8 encounters. Though the Yodha lost to the defending champions earlier in the season, it was a close match. UP will be excited for their young raider Rohit Tomar who has been impressive. This gives an edge to Pardeep and Surender Gill who were looking for a third partner. Defenders Sumit and Ashu Singh have been brilliant with 66 successful tackles between them. The Yodha will seek revenge on Dabang and they will look forward to leaving Pune on a happy note.
The last match for the season at Pune will be explosive and entertaining. Dabang Delhi has not enjoyed this leg of the season as it has brought them down on their knees. Naveen Kumar continues to excel but the Dabang defense has lost its edge and superiority.
Naveen will continue to earn points but he will be specifically targeted by the UP defense. In this case all-rounder, Vijay Malik will earn for Dabang. Ashu Malik will also contribute to the raiding income. Left corner Vijay Kumar and defender Krishan Dhull will hunt Surender Gill but Pardeep Narwal will trouble the Delhi defense.
Dabang Delhi has to be careful not to concede early all-outs.
UP Yodha raiding trio of Pardeep, Surender Gill, and Rohit Tomar will loot points in the first half giving them a big lead by half-time. Defenders Sumit and Shubham Kumar will target the second line of Delhi raiders.
This will be one of the toughest games for Naveen Kumar.
UP Yodha will win.
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