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PUNERI PALTAN won the match
Table toppers Puneri Paltan get ready for a Thalaiva battle.
Puneri Paltan will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: DOME by NSCI, MumbaiBet Now
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The Tamil Thalaiva is struggling to win matches while the Puneri Paltan looks unstoppable. Both teams have had a contrasting journey this season. Tamil Thalaiva started with a lot of promise, but their effervescence fizzled out after a few matches. It was purely due to lack of intensity in their performance. On the other hand, the Puneri Paltan has a success rate of almost 60% in team tackles which is simply unbelievable.
The Paltan is extremely strong in its defense. That is the reason they have won 8 out of their 9 matches, highest by any team. They defeated UP Yodha comfortably in their last match. It was once again a perfect symphony by the raiding trio and the quartet of defenders. Tamil Thalaiva should have won their last match against the Bengaluru Bulls. After a few false starts last week, they matched every move of their opponent but made a tactical blunder in their last raid to lose the match by just 1 point. As they take on the table toppers Puneri Paltan, the Thalaiva will be under tremendous pressure. It will not be easy at all for them to match the prowess of the Paltan. But if they can believe in themselves, anything is possible.
Runners-up of season 9 are playing with vengeance. As if they have some work unattended, the Puneri Paltan is bulldozing every team that comes their way. They have won 8 out of their 9 matches and look like the most competent team of season 9. It is also surprising and refreshing to see the entire unit always fresh. Being a long season, it does happen that a couple of players lose their form. But the Puneri Paltan is on cloud nine at the moment. Their trio of raiders are unstoppable while their defenders have stood like the rock of Gibraltar.
The Paltan has also been proactive to use their fourth raider Akash Shinde apart from regulars like Aslam Inamdar, Mohit Goyat and Pankaj Mohite. The four youngsters have created a vibrant raiding atmosphere in the Puneri camp. They used all 4 riders against the UP Yodha. Captain Aslam scored a Super 10 while the 3 other raiders collectively scored 13 raid points. The Paltan has scored a total of 178 team raid points in 9 matches. But their biggest strength is their defense. Left corner Mohammedreza has been the most lethal defender for the Paltan. Sanket Sawant, Abhinesh and Gaurav Khatri have been deadly. Hence it is almost impossible to break through such a wall. Mohammedreza has executed 34 successful tackles while Abhinesh has executed 28 successful tackles in 9 matches. Gaurav and Abhinesh have collectively executed 54 tackles. This is the secret of their success. Though it’s just halfway through the season, the Puneri Paltan has to maintain this intensity for another couple of months. They have to be careful about injuries as well as fatigue. The Paltan has also inflicted 21 all-outs on their opponents in just 9 matches. This has been their main weapon. Pune has followed the simple rule of scoring as much as possible in every match. This helps them as complacency does not creep. Also the Paltan is not forced to go on the defensive as points keep coming, either from the raids or from the tackles.
They will be up against the Tamil Thalaiava who are struggling. But the Thalaiva put up a decent fight in their last match. Though the Paltan defeated the Thalaiva in the semi-finals last year, they lost to Tamil in one of the league matches in season 9. Hence the Puneri Paltan will be confident but they will be cautious of not getting overwhelmed against a dangerous opponent.
It is hard to believe that such a talented bunch of players have lost momentum after playing 9 matches. Tamil Thalaiva is placed 11th in the points table with just 2 victories to their credit. They do not have any superstars, but the young guns were impressive in the first 5 matches. The Thalaiva is struggling for consistency and momentum. They have lost 5 matches consecutively which has disappointed their fans.
Tamil Thalaiva got hammered by the Haryana Steelers last month. The margin of defeat was 13 points. Looks like the Thalaiva has lost faith in itself after this defeat. They lost to the Gujarat Giants by just 3 points in their next game while they lost to the Bengaluru Bulls by just 1 point. Thalaiva should have won both these matches. The raiders seem to be doing their job but it’s the Tamil defense which has been disappointing. Apart from Captain Sagar and Sahil Gulia, none of their defenders have been consistent. The defense scored just 10 tackle points against the Gujarat Giants while they could earn 13 tackle points against the Bengaluru Bulls. With a success rate of just 39%, the Thalaiva needs to do more.
Raiders Narender Kandola and Ajinkya Pawar have been just above average. None of them are in the top 10 and they have collectively execute just 3 Super 10’s in 9 matches. Hence the Tamil Thalaiva has an issue, both in raiding as well as their defense. They have tried the services of young raiders like Himanshu Singh, Himanshu Narwal, Satish Kannan, Jatin and Nitin Singh but nothing has worked for the Thalaiva. They will be up against the strongest team of the season. Tamil Thalaiva will not be aiming for another cyclonic storm to hit them. They will have to be very clear about their plans against the Puneri Paltan. Their raiders will have to put up a collective effort to earn as much as possible. The Paltan is known to score very quickly. Hence the Thalaiva has to match the Paltan so slow them down.
Though the Thalaiva lost to Pune in the semi-finals last year, they managed to beat them once in the league stage. That will be the contest from where they can draw some inspiration.
This will be a very tough match for the Tamil Thalaiva. They will be up against the best raiders and defenders of season 10. Raiders Narender Kandola and Ajikya Pawar will have to punch above their weight if they aim to deceive the Puneri Paltan. Both will gather some points but none of them will be able to score a Super 10. Defenders Sagar and Sahil Gulia will defend their fortress, but the other Tamil defenders will leak points. The Puneri Paltan will be expecting their raiding trio to do the needful. Captain Aslam and Mohit Goyat will score heavily in the first half. Pankaj Mohite will also complement their efforts. 2 out of 3 Puneri raiders will score a Super 10.
Puneri defenders will have a festive time hunting the Tamil players. Mohammedreza and Gaurav Khatri will score a Hi 5 each while Sanket Sawant and Abhinesh will be handy. Overall the Puneri Paltan will aim for a half-century of team points at least. The only way the Thalaiva can stop the Paltan is by slowing down their raiding. Tamil may try the DoD method to keep their players away from the Puneri defense. But this strategy may not last long as the Paltan will win by a huge margin.
Puneri Paltan will win.
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