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Pirates playing for pride as well as to tackle the Puneri Paltan.
Puneri Paltan will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: Gachibowli Indoor Stadium, Hyderabad.Bet Now
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The Puneri Paltan has already qualified for the eliminators yet they have been working hard in their remaining round-robin league matches. They had to work overtime in order to beat Dabang Delhi in their last match. The Paltan fielded their second ring of raiders who were too hot to handle for Dabang.
The Pirates are playing for pride as they do not stand any chance to move into the playoff. They lost their last match to the Gujarat Fortune Giants as they still suffer from the same old issues that they had at the beginning of the season. All-rounder Rohit Gulia and defenders Mohammedreza and Neerja Kumar worked hard, but that was not enough for their team. The Pirates will play for pride as they take on the dangerous Puneri Paltan. The Pirates need to give the youngsters on the bench a chance to enjoy some mat time.
The Pirates have always dominated the Paltan in the PKL, but this season it has been a contrasting story. The Pirates settled for a TIE in their earlier encounter this season. If we look at their current form, the Pirates don’t seem to have the firepower to beat the Puneri Paltan.
The Puneri Paltan have turned out to be one of the top contenders for the title this year. They have been consistent and tactically superior to most teams. They have already qualified for the playoff as they moved to the top of the points table once again after their victory over Dabang Delhi.
Young raiders Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat have been lethal and consistent. Both have earned 258 raid points in 17 games. But it was the turn of young Pankaj Mohite and Akash Shinde who turned on the heat on the defending champions. Both raiders scored a Super 10 as the Paltan completed a 3 points heist. It was a high-scoring match that witnessed 5 all-outs in all.
This was a good opportunity for the Paltan to give their reserves some mat time and the trick worked. Both young raiders impressed while all-rounder Nabibaksh got some time to get back in the groove. He entertained everyone by earning 4 tackle points while right cover Abhinesh was in devastating form as he notched a Hi 5.
Captain Fazel Attrachali has been on song this season with 46 successful tackles in 18 matches. He joined the squad a bit late and till then the Paltan looked beatable. With his sheer presence and leadership qualities, Fazel transformed this young brigade into an unbeatable unit. The Puneri Paltan was rather unsuccessful in their first two seasons finishing last. This was 8 years ago. But they finished third in 2016. This time they will not settle for anything less than the title.
The Paltan has won 13 out of their 20 matches and they settled for a TIE in a couple of games. Overall the Puneri Paltan has developed as a complete package. On current form, it will be very difficult for any team to upstage the Paltan.
3-time champions, Patna Pirates could not navigate through season 9. Their piracy was caught by most teams as they failed to take off. It was shocking to see them lose their first 5 games. They did manage to bounce back but looked erratic.
The major concern of the Pirates is the lack of a second and third raider. They are heavily dependent on Sachin which gets them in trouble once in a while. Raiders Monu and Anuj Kumar have played well but they are still warming up.
Fortunately, Captain Neeraj Kumar has got back to his lethal hunting while defender Sunil has been consistent. Both defenders along with Mohammedreza have scripted the Pirate's comeback. All-rounder Rohit Gulia led the raiding in the first few games and he was spot on. Singlehandedly, he still continues to earn for the Pirates. He has earned 138 points from 17 matches.
The Pirates have executed 2833 successful team raids out of their total 815 team raids.
They have been able to conduct just 162 successful team tackles in 19 games.
The former champions have inflicted 23 all-outs in 19 games while conceding 27.
Raider Sachin Tanwar has earned 64 Do-or-Die raid points this season which is the highest by any raider. The Pirates stuck to their empty raid strategy in most games which did not yield the desired results. Lack of creativity on the part of the Pirates cost them many matches.
It is the end of the road for the Pirates this season as they do not have any chance of qualifying for the next round. They are placed 10th in the points table and have just pride to play for. They will be up against the Puneri Paltan who have already qualified for the playoff. Though the Paltan may give their reserves a chance to play, the Pirates may still find it difficult to upstage them.
The Patna Pirates could not recreate the magic this season as they have been pushed out of the race for the playoff. But the Pirates will play for pride and for their fans. They may look fatigued, but the Pirates cannot be taken lightly.
The Pirates have nothing to lose hence they will promote youngsters like defender Naveen Sharma, Manish, and all-rounder Sajin. But it will be “Magician” Rohit Gulia who will lead their raid earnings. Left corner Mohammedreza will hunt as usual, with flair and precision. Raiders Sachin Tanwar and Monu will do well too.
The Puneri Paltan will once again unleash the young raiding duo of Pankaj Mohite and Akash Shinde. They wreaked havoc in their last match and they will repeat the same. Both will earn a Super 10. Left cover Sanket Sawant and all-rounder Nabibaksh will hunt down Patna raider Sachin. The Paltan will be very aggressive in the first half pushing the Pirates on the back foot.
This will be an entertaining match where the Pirates will be looted.
Puneri Paltan will win.
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