Following the completion of the Sonepat leg of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 6, the action shifts to Pune in the third leg. Puneri Paltan will open their home leg against Gujarat Fortunegiants in Match 22 on Thursday at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Pune.

Coming off the back of a 45-27 win against Haryana Steelers, Puneri Paltan will look to continue the momentum and start their home leg with a win.

Gujarat Fortunegiants are well-rested after their previous game following a five-day break. They are still looking for their first win this season and will want to put up an improved performance against a strong Puneri Paltan team. They will further take inspiration from the fact that they have never yet lost to Puneri Paltan in VIVO Pro Kabaddi.

Match 22 (Zone A): Puneri Paltan vs Gujarat Fortunegiants

Head-to-head: Puneri Paltan 0-3 Gujarat Fortunegiants

Haryana Steelers were on the receiving end of a brilliant Puneri Paltan performance in the team’s last game and Puneri Paltan will look to keep that momentum going. Lead raider Nitin Tomar continued his excellent start to the season and finished that game with 10 points. He was ably supported by youngster Akshay Jadhav and Rajesh Mondal who got 7 points each. Skipper Girish Maruti Ernak chipped in with 6 tackle points of his own to show how strong Puneri Paltan’s defence is. The team will look forward to similar performances from their star players and hope to start their home leg on a good note.

Gujarat Fortunegiants are coming off the back of a couple of tough games. They earned a draw against Dabang Delhi K.C. before succumbing to Haryana Steelers 32-25. Captain Sunil Kumar leads a young defence and is well supported by an offence that consists of Sachin and K. Prapanjan. It is only a matter of finding form for the team and as soon as they do that they will be able to show just why they were able to make the final in their debut season.

The big battle

Nitin Tomar vs Sunil Kumar

With four excellent performances so far, Nitin Tomar has returned 52 points in Season 6. He only seems to be getting better with every game. Sunil Kumar, too, is coming off a High 5 against Haryana Steelers and will look to contain Puneri Paltan’s lead raider. The youngster will be seeking to show why the franchise named him as captain with an even better performance against Puneri Paltan.

Key Khiladi

Girish Maruti Ernak—Puneri Paltan

Puneri Paltan captain Girish Maruti Ernak has been outstanding in defence so far, playing the role of both Left Corner and Left Cover managing 16 tackle points in 4 games. With Sachin and K. Prapanjan coming of good performances against Haryana Steelers, Ernak will have to shoulder the responsibility of keeping the two raiders off the mat as long as possible.

K. Prapanjan- Gujarat Fortunegiants

A 9-point performance against Haryana Steelers showed why K. Prapanjan is rated highly by Gujarat Fortunegiants. He will look to repeat his performance and keep the Puneri Paltan corners, Girish Maruti Ernak and Sandeep Narwal, quiet in a bid to get his team their first win of the season.