Two fresh battles and more entertainment await VIVO Pro Kabaddi fans as the Inter Zone Challenge Week enters its second day at The Arena in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. Zone A’s Haryana Steelers will lock horns with Zone B’s Tamil Thalaivas in the first match of the day, after which the rampaging Gujarat Fortunegiants step onto the mat against the struggling Telugu Titans. Let’s see how these teams stack up against each other.
Match 30: Haryana Steelers vs Tamil Thalaivas
Haryana Steelers started their Season 5 campaign with a narrow defeat but have come back strongly since, courtesy of a tie and a win. They currently sit fourth in the Zone A points table with 9 points from 3 matches. Captain Surender Nada has been in prime form and his corner partnership with Mohit Chhillar is the team’s greatest asset. The attacking bench does not boast any big names but the effective way in which the raiders are assisting their defence is commendable, especially young Vikas Kandola who has picked up 19 points so far and will look to add to this tally come Wednesday.
After two successive defeats, Tamil Thalaivas tasted their first win in their last match by beating Bengaluru Bulls. They are presently languishing at the bottom of the Zone B points table with only 7 points from 3 matches. The form of captain Ajay Thakur has been a worry for the team as he has not been able to match his lofty standards. K. Prapanjan has been the only consistent raider. However, Amit Hooda, lynchpin in defence, came back strongly in their last match, which should ease the nerves in the Thalaivas camp a little.
Be that as it may, to get over Haryana’s solid defensive unit, the Thalaivas need their raiders to step up to the plate more than ever before because the team’s success very much hinges on how these raiders fare.
Match 31: Gujarat Fortunegiants vs Telugu Titans
Gujarat Fortunegiants are in magnificent form with a 100% win record at home. Their four consecutive victories have perched them atop the Zone A points table with a mammoth 28 points from 7 matches. The team has been coming together beautifully under coach Manpreet Singh, with all departments pitching in uniformly. The defence is looking solid under the magnificent corner duo of Fazel Atrachali and Abozar Mighani. Captain Sukesh Hegde has also been inspirational, with young raider Sachin proving to be a revelation. It appears the hosts just to have to do what they have been doing all along their home leg. .
Telugu Titans’ campaign has been off to a nightmarish start. The Rahul Chaudhari-led side is currently at the end of a seven-match winless streak (6 losses & 1 tie), managing just a single win at Hyderabad in what was the league opener. They are placed fourth in the Zone B points table with a mere 12 points from 8 matches. Chaudhari has been in his element this season but he is lacking steady support from the defence department. The defence has been abysmal until now, with the likes of Rakesh Kumar and Rohit Rana hardly being able to bring in any difference to the team’s fortunes. Coach Naveen Kumar is at his wits’ end but quickly needs to regroup his troops to ensure things don’t really get out of hand. Be that as it may, Gujarat is the last team they would have wanted for returning to winning ways.
Catch the action live from 8 pm IST onwards on the Star Sports network and hotstar.