VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5 has already seen some close matches, which could have gone either way. Fans will be hoping for more such edge-of-the-seat encounters as the league resumes on Tuesday after a day’s break. Here is a look at the clashes of the day.
Match 7 (Zone A): Gujarat Fortunegiants vs Dabang Delhi K.C.
Dabang Delhi K.C. will be on a high after beating a well-rounded Jaipur Pink Panthers outfit on Saturday. Their next game will see them take on the Sukesh Hegde-led Gujarat Fortunegiants, one of the four new teams this season.
The Fortunegiants have a strong group of raiders in Hegde, Amit Rathi and Mahendra Rajput. In defence, they have equally credible names in Iranians Abozar Mighani and Fazel Atrachali along with Manoj Kumar. The team is new and will have some jitters to deal with, but at the same time it’s a great occasion for the state of Gujarat to have their own representation in India’s biggest league.
Dabang Delhi K.C., meanwhile, proved their might against Jaipur as the Iranian duo of captain Meraj Sheykh and Abolfazl Maghsodlou banded together to lead their offensive charge in what was an extraordinary come-from-behind win. In defence, Nilesh Shinde and Bajirao Hodage stopped the Jaipur raiders in their tracks and will look to do the same against the debutants. They will be the favourites going into the match.
Match 8 (Zone B): Telugu Titans vs U.P. Yoddha
Telugu Titans will be looking to return to winning ways in their clash on Tuesday, following their back-to-back defeats to Patna Pirates and Bengaluru Bulls. They have been susceptible to crumbling under pressure at crunch moments, and another debutant U.P. Yoddha will look to exploit this to their advantage.
Telugu Titans will depend heavily on ‘Raid Machine’ Rahul Chaudhari, who became the first player to score 500 raid points in the league’s history on Sunday. Raiders Nilesh Salunke and Vikas have also impressed and it could very well be their day on Tuesday. In defence, youngster Vishal Bhardwaj and Rohit Rana will be hoping to leave the bitter memories of the back-to-back defeats behind and start afresh.
Be that as it may, U.P. Yoddha have a raiding combination that can match that of the home team, thanks to the presence of captain Nitin Tomar, Mahesh Goud and Rishank Devadiga. They would have done their research on the Titans’ defensive line and it will be interesting to see their strategy against the tacklers. Their defence led by Jeeva Kumar will have to be exceptional though as it won’t be easy against the Titans raiders. All-rounder Rajesh Narwal, meanwhile, will look to back up both the offence and defence and might prove to be the key.
Catch the action live from 8 pm IST onwards on the Star Sports network and hotstar.