Once the uncertainty of Telugu Titans’ qualification is over post the result of their match against U Mumba on Wednesday the discussions in every nook and corner in the Kabaddi dominated areas of India will be about the pairings in the semi-finals. If it’s U Mumba or Patna Pirates taking on either Bengal Warriors or Puneri Paltan the talk will then veer around who would win the coveted title in the Season 3 of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi? There will be heated and animated arguments, claims, counter claims full of emotions and also cool and calm debates backed by facts and reasoning.
It appears that if U Mumba beat Telugu Titans then they have a fine opportunity of finishing on top of the heap. If it is a draw then they may tie with Patna Pirates on points after they beat Dabang Delhi K. C. on the Thursday the last league match and the top two league rankings will be decided on points-difference.
Both, the Puneri Paltan and Bengal Warriors will have to wait for the result of the U Mumba- Dabang Delhi K. C. match to know the opponents in the semis. The suspense over that will be full of stress as nobody would like to take on the might of the defending champions U Mumba although Patna Pirates are no pushovers.
It is certain that the Kabaddi crazy from Maharashtra would love a U Mumbai – Puneri Paltan final. Going by what has happened in the competition it is possible. Yes, if U Mumbai finish on top and Puneri Paltan don’t end up fourth. But then all these wishes need to be fulfilled by the teams.
So what does that mean? Simple! U Mumba should expectedly win against Dabang Delhi K. C. and Puneri Paltan should beat the Bengal Warriors.
Will Puneri Paltan have the crowd behind them or will the Maharashtra boys, Nilesh Shinde, Bajirao Hodage, Girish Ernak and a few others from Bengal Warriors be able to divide the loyalties of the spectators? It looks quite tricky and complex. One thing that both teams should be sure of is that the crowd will not be partial. Maharashtra is known to support and appreciate good play and the matters should rest there.
It is for the two teams to raise their level of play to win over the crowd and earn a much needed victory. The team that wins then should be in a better state of mind to face any opponent in the semis. Going in with a defeat is never ideal. Therefore trust the teams to fight it out on court.
The Puneri Paltan will hopefully have the services of Captain Manjeet Chhillar and that should be a factor to worry for Bengal Warriors. They will have to draw a plan to negate him. The one ‘mantra’ Pratap Shetty the coach of the Kolkata side will whisper in Jang Kun Lee and Nitin Tomar’s ears is, ‘don’t confront Manjeet, stay away.” And what would Ashok Shinde, the Pune coach probably instruct his boys? ‘Don’t tackle Jang unless you are sure.’
So lots of mind games will be played and the team that plans and executes its strategy should trump. Puneri Paltan have the edge with multiple choices in raiding. They have two top all-rounders in Manjeet Chhillar and Deepak Hooda and top raiders Ajay Thakur and Surendra Singh. Veteran Jasmer Gulia has upped his game and he with the in-form Surjeet will be the stumbling blocks for the Kolkata raiders. Here Mahesh Goud has to come good and if the Bengal Warriors defence gets its acts right from the beginning then Pune has a fight on hand. Be what it may a good match is on the cards for the spectators.