VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 6 has seen close contests already early in the campaign, which has added to the excitement of the fans. Tamil Thalaivas managed a comprehensive win against Patna Pirates in their opening game before losing to U.P. Yoddha in a close contest. They will want to pick themselves up quickly and get back winning momentum when they face Telugu Titans in the second match on Tuesday.

The first match will see Dabang Delhi K.C. take on a young look Gujarat Fortunegiants in a battle of youth against experience. Both teams have news captains this season and it will be interesting to see what difference the change in leadership brings about in their approach.

Match 5 – Dabang Delhi K.C. vs Gujarat Fortunegiants

Head-to-head: Dabang Delhi K.C. 0 – 3 Gujarat Fortunegiants

A new look Dabang Delhi K.C. will want to take Gujarat Fortunegiants head on in the first game of their season. They have a strong defence led by captain Joginder Narwal to combat a Gujarat side that boasted of one of the best defences in the game last season.

Chandran Ranjit will be playing against his Season 5 team for the first time and will want to use his knowledge of their gameplay to his advantage when he takes the mat against them. In the raiding department, Shabeer Bappu is yet to open his account against the Fortunegiants while Meraj Sheykh and Pawan Kumar Kadian, too, have scored just 7 and 11 raid points respectively against them. Having tons of experience to back them up, the unit will want to come out firing in an attempt to catch a young Gujarat team off-guard.

The Delhi defence quartet of Joginder Narwal, Vishal Mane, Ravinder Pahal and Viraj Vishnu Landge have a combined 425 tackle points amongst themselves while Gujarat’s Sunil Kumar, Parvesh Bhainswal, Hadi Oshtorak and Sachin Vittala have just 165 tackle points between them, which gives the experienced Delhi defence a huge edge.

The Fortunegiants, though, rely more on the raw energy and surprise element that the youth bring which has prompted them to go with a number of young, relatively unseen players. While previous season’s Sachin, Mahendra Ganesh Rajput and Rohit Gulia still form the backbone of the offence, the addition of the 11th most successful raider of Season 5, K. Prapanjan and Do-or-Die specialist Dong Geon Lee gives the attack a good variety. Young captain Sunil Kumar, too, has a lot to prove and there is nothing like a victory to show how effective he can be as a leader.

The big battle

Sachin vs Ravinder Pahal

Gujarat’s most successful raider of Season 5, Sachin, will be the team’s key to victory against Dabang Delhi K.C. However, an experienced defender like Ravinder Pahal standing in the Right Corner will definitely have a plan against the youngster. The winner of this battle may well decide the fate of the entire match.

Key Khiladi

Joginder Narwal

Delhi captain Joginder Narwal has years of experience under his belt but will want to improve his VIVO Pro Kabaddi record of 77 points from 38 matches. A stint as skipper of the Delhi team will surely give him the opportunity he needs to flourish.

K. Prapanjan

One of the most impressive additions to the Gujarat Fortunegiants team, Prapanjan will have a completely young attack to accompany him which will showcase how capable he is of leading a relatively inexperienced attack.

Match 6 – Tamil Thalaivas vs Telugu Titans

Head-to-head: Tamil Thalaivas 0 – 3 Telugu Titans

Tamil Thalaivas impressed everyone in their first two games, fighting till the end in their five-point loss to U.P. Yoddha. The result won’t dent their confidence too much though as they came back from a 0-12 score line to bring the game very close in the dying minutes.

Ajay Thakur is undoubtedly the star of the Tamil Thalaivas campaign as he picked up his second consecutive Super 10 of the season in the game against U.P. Yoddha on Monday. However, the team was in a bit of a bother early on against the Yoddha when the second raiders went in to raid but then Athul MS emerged as the hero who almost helped the Thalaivas rescue the match. Manjeet Chhillar’s short Blocks have been working well for the team and they will hope he continues in the same vein.

Telugu Titans have created a well-balanced team for Season 6 with good backups for each position. Raid Machine Rahul Chaudhari, who they picked up once again in the auction, will have to lead the attack and, with an average of more than 9 raid points per game against the Thalaivas, he would be looking forward to facing them again. He will have Nilesh Salunke, Mohsen Maghsoudloujafari and Rakshith from last season to back him up but it will also be interesting to see how the team’s young raiders like Ankit Beniwal and Kamal Singh respond to the challenge of the big stage. New captain Vishal Bhardwaj will combine with Abozar Mohajermighani this season making it a lethal Corner combination.

The big battle

Ajay Thakur vs Rahul Chaudhari

Two raiders who, at the top of their game, are amongst the best in the world will face off in a battle that promises excitement. Rahul Chaudhari has 28 raid points against the Thalaivas while Thakur has 33 raid points against the Titans. The raider who manages to gain the upper hand and stay on the mat longer could be the player who decides the match in their team’s favour.

Key Khiladi

Manjeet Chhillar

One-Man-Army Manjeet Chhillar will be keen to reach peak form early in this season’s campaign. He showed a lot of grit in the matches so far and would want to remain at the top of the tackle points tally for the season.

Abozar Mohajermighani

One half of the famed Iranian defensive duo and the only foreign defender among the top 5 defenders of Season 5, Abozar Mohajermighani is one of Telugu Titans’ key men this season and the battle between him and the experienced raiders of Tamil Thalaivas will be a treat to watch.