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Battle of beleaguered teams- Dabang Delhi vs Gujarat Fortune Giants.
Dabang Delhi will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: The Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel and Convention CentreBet Now
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Both the teams have been rattled due to contrasting reasons. While the Gujarat Fortune Giants were hit by Covid, Dabang Delhi was rocked by the injuries to star raider Naveen Kumar and veteran defender Joginder Narwal.
While the Fortune Giants won their last game 10 days back against the Tamil Thalaivas due to some atrocious umpiring, Dabang Delhi lost miserably to the Puneri Paltan. Both the teams have a lot of catching up to be done and this will make the encounter more exciting. Though Dabang Delhi is placed 2nd in the points table, there has been a serious dip in their performance. They look pedestrian in the absence of Naveen and this will hurt them further in the tournament. They need to develop contingency plans else they will crash after such a wonderful take-off this season.
The Fortune Giants have never been able to get back on track. They have won just 3 out of their 11 games and look pretty ordinary this season.
Gujarat Fortune Giants is that aircraft that kept taxing around the runway but never took off. Add to it, they were struck by Covid and have not played a single game in the last 10 days. We sincerely wish that the entire squad is safe and healthy. Their biggest challenge awaits them as they will take on Dabang Delhi. This will be one of the biggest challenges that the Fortune Giants as they will be back to competitive kabaddi.
They have not been able to perform up to their potential this season and that is why they are placed 11th in the points table with only 3 wins from 11 games. Time and again they have got caught up in their own style of playing. Their raiders have performed well, but it is their defense that has not resonated. Girish Ernak, Sunil Kumar, Parvesh Bhaiswal, all have been inconsistent. Secondly, many opposite teams have got a measure of the Fortune Giants and have exploited their weaknesses.
Raiders Rakesh, Rakesh Narwal, and Mahendra Rajput have scored well but the Fortune Giant does not have any defender in the top 20 list. Their best is defender Parvesh with 19 successful tackles from 11 games, though he has scored 6 Super tackles.
The Fortune Giants have scored 214 points in 11 games while conceding 339.
They tried to constrict the opponent like a python but now they have to play like viper snakes.
Can they make this transition?
Dabang Delhi was on a dream run till they lost their first game against the Bengaluru Bulls. That was after winning 8 games on the trot. This was also the 50th game of the tournament. Since then Dabang lost 2 more games and without Naveen Kumar and Joginder Narwal, they are sitting ducks. They have lost 3 out of their last 5 games and this is a cause of concern. The biggest question- Is Naveen Kumar fit to play? Without Naveen, the Dabang have no sting in their attack and this puts them in a vulnerable position.
They lost to Haryana Steelers by 3 points and then to Puneri Paltan by a huge margin. Though they are placed 2nd in the points table, they will need to close the gap of losses or at least tie the games and earn valuable points.
Ashu Malik, Neeraj Narwal, and Vijay have taken care of the raiding but they have not been as effective as Naveen Kumar. All-rounder Hulk Sandeep Narwal has stepped up and he has been aggressive in his raids as well as tackles. He has scored 14 points in the last 2 games and he has been effervescent and agile.
In earlier games, veterans Jeeva Kumar, Manjit Chillar, and Joginder Narwal were extremely effective in the defense, but without Joginder, the equation changes. Jeeva and Manjit are also looking tired and this has taken a toll on Dabang. The backup players have to step up and match the earlier performance which will be very difficult. But fortunately, they will be playing the Fortune Giants who have their own set of problems. Dabang can win this game, earn valuable points and give Naveen more time to recover.
This will be a very interesting game and probably a high-scoring one. Gujarat Fortune Giants are making a comeback while Dabang Delhi is struggling with the fitness of its top players. We will have to see what sort of team combination do the Fortune Giants come up with. They may use some of their reserve players and play with a different outlook and commitment. They will have to exploit Dabang Delhi if Naveen Kumar is not able to play.
Dabang Delhi will have to play safe as they are 2nd in the points table. By doing so, they will get to earn points as well as give time to Naveen and Joginder to recover. If Naveen is fully fit, the Fortune Giants will lose their treasure to him. The defense of both teams will be tested though Dabang Delhi looks a bit stronger than the Fortune Giants.
Dabang Delhi will win.
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