The penultimate day of VIVO Pro Kabaddi action at Delhi’s Thyagaraj Sports Complex will see Rahul Chaudhari’s Telugu Titans confronting Manjeet Chhillar’s Jaipur Pink Panthers, and Dabang Delhi K.C. continuing their effort to register their first home win of the season against U.P. Yoddha. Here’s how the teams stack up against each other on the second day of the third Inter Zone Challenge Week.
Match 96: Telugu Titans vs Jaipur Pink Panthers
Head-to-head: Telugu Titans 3-5 Jaipur Pink Panthers. 1 tie
Telugu Titans’ chances of reaching the playoffs are almost over. They have won just four in 17 matches this season with both their departments failing to provide the winning momentum. Rahul Chaudhari, the most successful raider in the league’s history, has not been as lethal as he had been in the previous seasons and has also failed to receive steady support from other raiders in the team. In defence, Vishal Bhardwaj and Sombir have been the unlikely stars but their inexperience has cost the team matches at crucial junctures. On current form, it will take a Herculean effort from the Titans to win today.
On the other hand, Jaipur Pink Panthers (37 points from 12 matches) may not be having one of their best seasons but captain Manjeet Chhillar’s return from injury has injected plenty of confidence into the camp of the Season 1 champions. As VIVO Pro Kabaddi’s best all-rounder Chhillar faces best raider Chaudhari for the first time this season, the stage is sure to be set ablaze.
Khel Kabaddi Khiladi:
Though not in his best form this season, Raid Machine Chaudhari, first raider in history to reach 600 raid-point mark, is still a force to reckon with. This is because when he strikes, he single-handedly brings down opposition defences. The Titans will hope that Wednesday is one of those days.
One-Man-Army Chhillar, first player to complete 200 tackle points in VIVO Pro Kabaddi history, has been a valuable peg in Jaipur’s defence this season and a lot will ride on him as he takes guard to thwart the Raid Machine’s advances.
Match 97: Dabang Delhi K.C. vs U.P. Yoddha
Dabang Delhi K.C.’s abysmal home campaign continues. Having lost all four of their home encounters so far, they presently occupy the bottom of Zone A with 31 points from 16 matches. The team is yet to click together as a strong unit, though captain Meraj Sheykh has been consistent in the last few matches. Satpal has looked brilliant in defence recently and Delhi will hope they return to winning ways against the Yoddha, whom they are playing the first time this season.
U.P. Yoddha brought an end to a four-match winless streak by defeating the mighty Patna Pirates at their home last week. Currently sitting third in Zone B with 43 points from 16 matches, captain Nitin Tomar’s scintillating form will be their biggest asset. Rishank Devadiga has also been a consistent performer for the Yoddha. Jeeva Kumar and Nitesh Kumar have impressed at the back, but the defence tends to lose their nerve in the dying minutes, which they need to work on. However, against a shaky Delhi outfit, they are the favourites to win.
Khel Kabaddi Khiladi:
Delhi’s captain presence on the mat acts as a mental boost for his team. He is consistent during raids and also assists his defence whenever the need arises. However, he will need to do much more than that to upset the Yoddha today.
Lucknow’s captain scored a massive 18 points in his last match to blow away defending champions Patna Pirates and will enter today’s match high on confidence. Delhi need to be wary of him.
Catch the action live from Delhi on the Star Sports network and hotstar from 7.30 pm onwards.