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Southern Derby 2.0- Tamil Thalaiva vs Bengaluru Bulls.
Tamil Thalaiva will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi, PuneBet Now
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Welcome to the second edition of the southern derby as the fired-up Tamil Thalaiva takes on a strong Bengaluru Bulls team. The Thalaiva has been mighty impressive as it has given itself a goal, to beat the best. In the absence of Pawan Sherawat, the Tamil Thalaiva displayed character and the will to win. They have beaten top teams this season.
The Bengaluru Bulls are a tactically strong team. They have won games due to the sheer optimization of their resources. The Bulls have a perfect balance of dangerous raiders and lethal defenders. They are placed 2nd in the points table behind the Puneri Paltan.
The Bulls have a tough time negotiating the Thalaiva. In their last game, the Bulls were stretched by the Haryana Steelers who lost the game by just 3 points. Though the Bulls thrashed the Thalaiva earlier in the season, a lot has changed since then. This will be an epic encounter between two southern giants.
If a travelogue of the PKL was to be written, the story of Tamil Thalaiva would get top priority. The way in which the Thalaiva has pooled resources and improved its performance is something to be proud of. With sheer determination and playing within limitations, the Thalaiva is beating the best in the business.
They were slow to take off but the Thalaiva has compensated for a lot of early losses. The most significant improvement has been among the young raiders of the team. Raiders Narender and Himanshu Singh have blasted opposition defenders with ease. They have a unique style and aggression which has helped the Thalaiva improve its earnings.
Raider Narender has already scored over 100 points in 12 games which include 7 Super 10’s.
Captain Sagar has notched 31 successful tackles in 12 matches.
As a team, the Thalaiva has conducted 503 team raids out of which 177 have been successful.
Tamil Thalaiva has executed 124 successful team tackles which is the highest by any team.
This is the biggest reason for their turn-around. Without Pawan Sehrawat if the Thalaiva can be so lethal, just imagine what may happen on his return. Pawan is still recuperating and will take some time to get back to match fitness.
Till then the Thalaiva will hope to win more games and maintain their position in the top 6 in the points table. In their last meeting with the Bulls, the Thalaiva had a total breakdown of their defense. Over the next few games, Tamil Thalaiva has erected a decent wall of defense which consists of Captain Sagar, M Abhisek, and Sahil Gulia. They gave the Puneri Paltan a run for their money in the last match which the Thalaiva lost by a solitary point. The Thalaiva led by 6 points at halftime but could not maintain the intensity. It suffered a crucial all-out in the second half which took them away from victory. They need to just repeat the same performance against the Bengaluru Bulls in the repeat of the Southern Derby.
Former champions have systematically worked their way up the points table. After a sedate start, the Bulls took off in style on the basis of their team work. Coach Randhir Singh’s tactics have worked most of the time. In some games, he used Vikash Kandola to lead the raiding while in other games, raider Bharat has been the lead raider. This helped the Bulls deceive their opponents. The coach used raider Neeraj Narwal as their main raider in the match against the Haryana Steelers.
These changes have helped the Bulls to build an all-round attack. They are placed second in the points table after playing 12 games. They had lost their way in a couple of games last week which they lost. The Bulls had lost to the Haryana Steelers in a low-scoring game and then they lost to the Gujarat Fortune Giants in a high-stakes match. In both matches, the margin of defeat was just 2 points.
The Bulls returned the favor in their last game to the Haryana Steelers by conning them into submission.
Raider Bharat has scored 129 raid points in his 105 raids. This includes 8 Super 10’s.
Raiders Vikash Kandola has scored 76 raid points in 12 games while Neeraj Narwal has got 40 crucial raid points.
But their biggest asset is their impregnable defense. Defender Saurav Nandal has been lethal with 37 successful tackles in 12 games. He has been supported by the likes of left corner Aman and left cover Mahender Singh. This makes the Bulls a difficult team to beat.
The Bengaluru Bulls have also executed 8 Super raids which have helped them stun their opponents.
They have inflicted 23 all-outs which is the highest by any team. Unfortunately, they have also conceded 18 which is an area they need to work on. They will clash with familiar foes, the Tamil Thalaiva who have been in spicy form. The Bulls will need a lot of tactical planning in order to tame the Thalaiva.
The repeat of the southern derby will be an explosive event. Both teams will attack each other from the beginning. Tamil Thalaiva is a different team now. They have generally dominated the first half, but the Thalaiva will need to increase its intensity in this match.
Raiders Narender and Himanshu Singh will earn well but they will be troubled by defenders Saurabh Nandal and Aman. Earnings by Tamil raider Ajinkya Pawar will be significant. All-rounder Visvanath will play an important role in taming one of the Bull's raiders. Captain Sagar will trouble raider Bharat in the first half.
The Bengaluru Bulls may surprise the Thalaiva with added aggression in the first half. They will hold Vikash Kandola and unleash him in the second half. Defender Mahender Singh will play a crucial role in the second half to get the Thalaiva in some trouble.
This game will be full of surprises and tactical blunders.
Tamil Thalaiva will win.
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