After two closely contested encounters on Friday, the action continues on Day 2 of the Chennai leg as Puneri Paltan and U.P. Yoddha lock horns in the first match of the evening before Jaipur Pink Panthers step in the ring against home team Tamil Thalaivas. For all teams, it’s that time of the league when nothing will be better than a win as it takes them closer to the play-offs. Let’s see how these teams measure against each other.
Match 102: Puneri Paltan vs U.P. Yoddha
Match 3 of the Chennai leg promises to be a close affair as U.P. Yoddha and Puneri Paltan both come into the match on the back of some strong performances. Fans will be eager to see which team can outwit the other when push comes to shove.
Puneri Paltan have been ably led by Deepak Hooda. His ability to absorb pressure and come up with big raids when the team requires has been a game changer for the Paltan. They held their nerve against Tamil Thalaivas on Friday, something which the side lacked earlier in the season. Defensive mainstay Ziaur Rahman did not score any points in that encounter though and he will be looking to make good against the strong Yoddha raiding unit.
U.P. Yoddha have been one of the most aggressive sides of the season in recent games, thanks mainly to their captain Nitin Tomar. Tomar proved both his raiding and leadership skills when the team took on Dabang Delhi K.C. and will be raring to go on Saturday. One thing which might work in favour of the Yoddha is that they were able to give their young players a look-in against Delhi which means they will be prepared to bring on their substitutes should the big names fail. The defensive form of young Sagar Krishna has also peaked at a good time for U.P. and Pune will have to be wary of him.
Khel Kabaddi Khiladi:
Deepak Hooda is Pune’s mainstay when it comes to raiding and has been instrumental in all of the side’s victories so far. He has 84 points from 13 matches played in Season 5.
Nitin Tomar has led from the front in all of U.P. Yoddha’s games which is amply proven by the 148 points he has from 17 matches played so far.
Match 103: Tamil Thalaivas vs Jaipur Pink Panthers
Tamil Thalaivas’ home run got off to a rocky start as they fell to Puneri Paltan after offering a tough fight in the first half of the match on Friday. They take on a wounded Jaipur Pink Panthers side which comes into the encounter following two consecutive losses and will be eager to regain their confidence with a win.
Ajay Thakur has been the pick of the players for Tamil Thalaivas and the team will once again rely on him to do the bulk of the scoring. Their defence, which looked good in earlier encounters, failed to come good against Pune which is a cause for worry. C. Arun’s all-round ability is still a big factor for the team and his presence on the mat will ensure that the Jaipur raiders are kept in check. Korean Dong Geon Lee looked good in their last game and the team will hope he fills the position of the second raider should K. Prapanjan fail to fire.
Jaipur’s Pawan Kumar has taken on the responsibility of scoring points in attack from senior player Jasvir Singh in recent games. Selvamani K’s return to the team will also boost the attacking strength of the side. All-round players like Nitin Rawal and Tushar Patil have shown some glimpses of brilliance but the team will need a lot more consistency from them if they are to emerge as match winners for them. One Man Army Manjeet Chhillar still hasn’t found that one big performance which will get him going and that might just come against the Thalaivas, so they will have to beware.
Khel Kabaddi Khiladi:
Ajay Thakur did not fire in the team’s previous game but he still looks the most menacing raider from the side with 105 points from 14 matches.
Pawan Kumar has been a revelation for Jaipur this season and is a consistent performer for them scoring 74 point from 12 matches played so far.
Catch the action live on the Star Sports network and hotstar from 7.30 pm onwards.