Puneri Paltan and Haryana Steelers get their VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 7 campaigns underway by squaring off against each other at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad on Monday. Both teams will be eyeing a win to start their respective seasons on a good note. While there are plenty of interesting duels to look forward to on the mat, the encounter will also witness legends Anup Kumar and Rakesh Kumar make their VIVO Pro Kabaddi debuts as coaches. Puneri Paltan will be coached by Anup, while his old friend Rakesh will be in charge of Haryana Steelers. Both have played together on the international stage and in VIVO Pro Kabaddi in the past, and the face off promises to be an intriguing sub-plot to the match.
Match 6: Puneri Paltan vs Haryana Steelers
Head-to-head: Puneri Paltan 5 – 1 Haryana Steelers. 0 Ties.
The Maharashtra-based franchise will be approaching the new season reinvigorated with a new coach in Anup and a new captain in Surjeet Singh. Surjeet brings an abundance of experience to Puneri Paltan’s defence and will be looking to lead by example. He is second in the league’s all-time High 5s chart and will be backed up by Girish Maruti Ernak, another established defender in the VIVO Pro Kabaddi circuit. Puneri Paltan’s offence, on the other hand, will be led by Nitin Tomar, who has been a consistent performer over the past two seasons. Another raider to watch out for will be Manjeet. He scored 87 raid points with Patna Pirates in his debut campaign last year and will look to shine this season with his new team.
Haryana Steelers will be captained by the evergreen Dharmaraj Cheralathan and the veteran defender’s influence is certain to have a galvanizing effect on not just the defence but the entire team. Having captained Patna Pirates to the Season 4 trophy, Dharmaraj knows what it takes to go all the way in VIVO Pro Kabaddi and will look to infuse the winning mentality in the team. He will have ample support in Kuldeep Singh, Vikas Kale and Ravi Kumar, making for a formidable defence. Haryana Steelers’ raiding unit also looks well-balanced with the duo of Vikash Kandola and Prashanth Kumar Rai set to lead their attack. The pair has performed well in the last two seasons and have the experience of raiding together for Haryana Steelers from back in Season 5.