Bengal Warriors face stern test in their season opener
After a tough match against Bengaluru Bulls on Wednesday, Tamil Thalaivas take on Bengal Warriors in hope to repeat their outstanding performance on the opening night against defending champions Patna Pirates.
Bengal Warriors, meanwhile, would hope to repeat their performances from the previous season. A win against the home side for the Surjeet Singh-led men would set the tone for them for the rest of the season.
Match 10, Zone B: Tamil Thalaivas vs. Bengal Warriors
Head-to-head: Bengal Warriors 2-1 Tamil Thalaivas
After a dominating win on opening night against defending champions Patna Pirates, the Tamil Thalaivas have provided a glimpse of what they are capable of. There are plenty of positives to draw from, especially the form of captain Ajay Thakur, who has piled up 54 points in four matches, the best start he has ever had to a VIVO Pro Kabaddi campaign. Veteran Manjeet Chhillar has also shown glimpses of his brilliance, scoring 13 tackles points in four games, leading the league in that category. The form of their dynamic duo is a positive sign and if their starts can be executed to plan, the Thalaivas will be back to their winning ways.
Bengal head into Season 6 of VIVO Pro Kabaddi full of hope, after an excellent campaign last year. The Warriors finished top of Zone B in Season 5 only to bow out in Qualifier 2 in the Super Playoffs against eventual champions Patna Pirates in a close contest. The team managed to retain seven of its players, including captain PO Surjeet Singh and raiders Maninder Singh and Jang Kun Lee, from Season 5 and strengthened other key positions to build a side capable of delivering their first VIVO Pro Kabaddi title.
The big battle
Surjeet Singh vs. Ajay Thakur
Two captains and stalwarts of their respective teams, Surjeet Singh’s battle against Ajay Thakur will be one to watch out for. An absolute tank in defence in Season 5, Singh managed 76 tackle points over the course of the campaign finishing second behind Surender Nada for the title of VIVO Pro Kabaddi’s Best Defender. Ajay Thakur has already crossed over half a century of points for the season and is pretty much picking up points at will for his side. It’s going to be a battle between an unstoppable force and an immovable object when Thakur meets Singh on the mat on Thursday.
Athul MS - Tamil Thalaivas
Rookie Athul MS has been in fine form for the Tamil Thalaivas, scoring 20 raid points in his three outings so far, emerging as an excellent secondary raider for the team. His good form has eased some workload off Thakur’s shoulder and for the Thalaivas to have a good season, it is imperative for young Athul to maintain his good start.
Maninder Singh - Bengal Warriors
After missing Season 3 and 4, Maninder Singh returned in some fashion in Season 5 of VIVO Pro Kabaddi. Singh scored an amazing 190 raid points with nine Super 10s and finished fifth in the race for the award of Best Raider. Singh boasts of the ability to take the game away from the opponents single-handedly and the Thalaivas defence have to be vary of the threat that he possesses.