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Misfiring U Mumba take on Revitalized Tamil Thalaiva.
Tamil Thalaiva's will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: The Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Centre, Bengaluru.Bet Now
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The rules of the game are simple but playing is a complex art. Both these teams are examples of simply how they can forget the art of playing. U Mumba have hovered around the 5th to the 7th spot throughout the season, while the Thalaiva’s have had an extended journey from the bottom of the table to the top 3. Currently Tamil Thalaiva is placed just above U Mumba after 15 games. This is also a contest between TIE specialists as the Thalaiva have earned 6 ties while Mumba has been able to force 5. They ended up settling for a TIE in their last meeting in 2021. Both teams are heavily dependent on their defense and do not invest too much in raiding. U Mumba lost to Dabang Delhi and then to the Puneri Paltan while the Thalaiva beat the mighty Bengaluru Bulls and then the Telegu Titans. At this juncture in the tournament, the Thalaiva’s look to be the stronger team. But both teams are prone to perennial breakdowns and can lose their way through the game. Or will it be a TIE once again?
Former Champions have been going through mixed emotions through this season. They started enthusiastically but as the tournament blossomed, they have become predictable and invariably move into safe mode. They are placed 7th in the points table after 15 games and the remainder of their journey in this season will be arduous. They lost back to back games, first to Dabang Delhi and then to the Puneri Paltan in the Maharashtra derby.
They have a lot of repair work to be done. Also they seem to have got caught up in their own strategy of playing safe all the time. They are a defense heavy team yet they don’t have any of their defender in the list of top 10. Raiders Abhishek and Ajith have been consistent in their earnings while Fazel Attrachali has not troubled the scorers too much.
They do not have any time to experiment as the knock-out stage is coming closer. They are slow starters and if they get a good start they lose their steam in the second half. This happened to them when they lost to Dabang Delhi and the Paltan. Sultan Fazel Attrachali has been an inspirational leader but his exploits have not earned his enough tackle points.
U Mumba has been able to conduct only 230 successful team raids in 15 games while they have executed just 134 successful team tackles in 15 games. For a defense heavy team, this statistic is not encouraging.
Defender Rinku has been one of the most consistent player for Mumba while Harendra and Sunil Siddhagavali will have to tackle beyond expectations.
A bunch of moody characters, the Thalaiva have gone through all the emotions possible in kabaddi. They have lost badly, won unexpectedly and forced a TIE by playing in the safe mode. They are placed 6th in the points table after 15 games with 44 points. They have had a wonderful last week as they beat the mighty Bengaluru Bulls. This was primarily due to their defenders as Sagar became the first defender to reach 50 tackle points in the season.
Their strength is their defense. Sagar and Surjeet have been deadly with their traps while Mohit and Abhishek have provided the cushion. The Thalaiva’s have won their last 2 games by big margins. They beat the Bulls by 24 points and then the Telegu Titans by 18 points. Hence their defense has got all its engines running at full throttle.
Sagar and Surjeet have executed 98 successful tackles this season while earning 107 tackle points together.
As a team the Thalaiva’s have conducted 222 successful team raids and 159 successful team tackles.
They have conceded 493 points in 15 games though this was very high in the beginning of the season.
After the injury to raider Prapanjan, raiders Manjeet and Ajinkya Pawar have settled into the role and have forged a deadly raiding combination. Ajinkya Pawar is a DoD specialist too with 35 DoD raid points.
Though the Thalaiva’s are prone to regular breakdowns in form, they have kept themselves motivated even after some depressing defeats.
They are peaking at the right time and can plan properly for the knock-outs.
This will be the first of the triple panga on the last day of the “Rivalry Week” in Pro Kabaddi. Both teams are dependent on their defense and both teams have a double raiding party. U Mumba will expect Abhishek and Ajith to continue harvesting raid points while the Thalaiava’s will fall back on Manjeet and Ajinkya Pawar. The Thalaiva’s have a super hit defense combo of Sagar and Surjeet. They will be looking forward to trap Mumba raiders and reduce their income. Both teams are evenly matched, both will renew their rivalry in the first of the triple panga.
U Mumba look a bit fragile as compared to the Thalaiva, especially in breakdown of their defense. Mumba will also need to maintain the intensity throughout the match else the Thalaiva’s will hunt them down. There were fireworks when these teams clashed last year but that match ended in a TIE. Fans of both teams will expect a repeat of the same, but the Thalaiva has the edge.
Tamil Thalaiva's will win.
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