BEN-W vs PUN-P: Match 81 of the Pro Kabaddi League will feature Bengal Warriors taking on Puneri Paltan at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium. The match is scheduled to happen later in the evening today.
Bengal Warriors, led by captain Maninder Singh had a thrilling previous match against the Gujarat Fortunegiants, where both the teams were levelled at the end of the game, resulting in a draw. This seemed like a good comeback for the Warriors, who had earlier faced defeat against UP Yoddha. With that being said, the Warriors will look to make a strong comeback and get back to winning ways. The team is currently placed 4th in the points table with 43 points, just above the Jaipur Pink Panthers.
PUNE’s SEASON SO FAR
Puneri Paltan, on the other hand, had a forgettable season, as they couldn’t live up to the expectations of their fans. They are currently placed 10th in the team standings, just above Tamil Thalaivas and Patna Pirates. In a total of 13 matches played by the Paltan, they could only manage to win 4 matches, while facing 7 defeats and with 2 matches resulting in a draw. Puneri Paltan will be keen to make a comeback and will be hungry to register a win against their state rivals, Bengal Warriors. It is testing times for coach Anup Kumar, who hasn’t been able to impress fans and the management even as the tournament is half-way under.
While the competition looks one-sided with advantage to Bengal Warriors, Puneri Paltan can’t just be rubbed off. They have been a consistent team all through the seasons, and the thirst of a revival might just change things for them. In their previous encounter, Bengal had an emphatic victory with 43-23 against Pune. What’s surprising is that both the teams are coming into this game, after drawing their respective previous matches. It will be interesting to see how things pan out in this one.
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BENGAL WARRIORS STARTING 7
Maninder Singh (R), Baldev Singh (D), Mohammad Taghi (R), K Prapanjan (R), Rinku Narwal (D), Jeeva Kumar (D), Esmaeil Nabibakhsh (A)
For Bengal Warriors, the captain has taken the onus upon himself to lead the team from the front, after securing 104 raid points becoming their top raider. Maninder is also placed 5th in the overall player rankings for raiding. He will again be the key to the game. Maninder is getting immense support from Prapanjan, who has 81 raid points to his name in this season, from the 13 matches that he played. This also includes three super raids. The team’s defence is covered by Baldev Singh and Rinku Narwal, who secured 36 tackle points each in the 13 games played. Jeeva Kumar has also been a value add in the defence department, with 23 tackle points from 12 games.
PUNERI PALTAN STARTING 7
Surjeet Singh (C), Sagar Krishna/ Hadi Tajik, Nitin Tomar, Manjeet, Pankaj Mohite, Balasaheb Jadhav (D) and Shubham Shinde.
Puneri Paltan will be looking to turn their fortunes around with this game. The team will again be heavily relying upon Pankaj Mohite and Amit Kumar, as they have been their key players. In fact, if the team wants to put up a strong show, then the trio Manjeet, Pankaj Mohite and Surjeet Singh will have to up their ante and deliver it for the team.
Manjeet has 62 raid points from the 13 games, Mohite has 52 raid points from 10 games, while Surjeet has only 32 raid points from his 13 games. There have been decent contributions from Jadhav Balasaheb, but nothing exemplary. He will surely look to make his mark at this crucial time of the tournament. Sagar Krishna has had a disappointing campaign, and he might be replaced by Iranian Hadi Tajik.
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