Day 5 of the Chennai leg promises much excitement as U Mumba run into the defensive wall of Haryana Steelers and U.P. Yoddha look to leave their Puneri Paltan loss behind and continue their march to the Super Playoffs against Tamil Thalaivas on Wednesday. Here is a look at how the teams match up.
Match 108 (Zone A): U Mumba vs Haryana Steelers
Head-to-head: U Mumba 2-0 Haryana Steelers
Haryana Steelers come into the match against U Mumba after back to back victories against Jaipur Pink Panthers and Dabang Delhi K.C. and they will be looking to set the record straight against the Mumbai franchise. U Mumba have beaten Haryana on both previous occasions and another win for them will be vital for their Super Playoff chances.
U Mumba’s recent upswing has been courtesy of their main raider Kashiling Adake, who has found his destructive form back. If he is fit to play – in light of the niggle he picked up in Mumba’s previous match - he can put a lot of pressure on the experienced Haryana defence. The U Mumba defence has also shown signs of improvement of late, which will give them a lot of confidence ahead of this important encounter.
Haryana ran into rough waters recently after resting captain Surender Nada and the experienced Mohit Chhillar. They will hope Vikas Kandola makes a return soon to take the pressure of raiding off Wazir Singh since others like Deepak Kumar Dahiya, Prashant Kumar Rai and Surjeet Singh have been patchy. The experienced corners will also have to get the better of Adake and Shrikant Jadhav if their raiders are to raid without the pressure of a huge points difference.
Khel Kabaddi Khiladi:
If Adake is fit to play then he automatically selects himself in any Khel Kabaddi team with the recent destructive form he has been in. He is also the primary U Mumba raider, so expect him to make the most of the raids for his side.
Rakesh Singh Kumar
The defender scored 7 points when Haryana met Delhi in their previous match, outscoring even the experienced Surender Nada. Haryana will expect him to show same kind of form on Wednesday.
Match 109 (Zone B): Tamil Thalaivas vs U.P. Yoddha
Head-to-head: Tamil Thalaivas 1-1 U.P. Yoddha
Tamil Thalaivas are yet to find a win at home and on Wednesday they will have their task cut out against the strong raiding unit of U.P. Yoddha. The Yoddha come into this match after a narrow loss to the in-form Puneri Paltan and will be looking to get back to winning ways so that they can consolidate their third position in Zone B.
Tamil Thalaivas’ undoing in recent games has been due to their overreliance on captain Ajay Thakur. They lost the game against Telugu Titans on Tuesday in spite of the star raider scoring 20 points for the team which speaks a lot about the team’s lack of back-up in raiding. Their defence will also need someone like senior defender Amit Hooda or young C. Arun to step up if they are to win for the first time at home.
U.P. Yoddha put in a good performance against Pune but were simply outclassed by their captain Deepak Hooda. They have a lot to play for on Wednesday though as a win here will take them a step closer to edging the other Zone B teams in a battle for the Super Playoffs. Captain Nitin Tomar will know this all too well and expect him to come out all guns blazing against the frail Tamil Thalaivas defence. He and Rishank Devadiga will look to make up for what the team lacks in defence by picking up big raids against Chennai. Sagar Krishna’s High 5 against Pune has also been a highlight for U.P. and the team will again look to the youngster to manage things in defence.
Khel Kabaddi Khiladi:
Ajay Thakur has been right on the money in Tamil Thalaivas’ recent encounters and with the recent 20- point performance against Telugu Titans he puts himself firmly ahead of any of his team mates as the Khel Kabaddi Khiladi from the team.
U.P.’s Mr. Consistent is expected to score big again, especially since the Chennai defence has not been worth writing home about this season. He has a super 10 in 2 of the previous 3 games U.P. have played and even against Pune he managed 8 points.
Catch the action live on the Star Sports Network and hotstar from 7.30 pm onwards.