PKL: Top teams battle to secure playoff spots
Bengaluru: U Mumba and Jaipur Pink Panthers will be eager to brighten their prospects of securing a playoff spot when they lock horns in the Pro Kabaddi League here on Tuesday.
Both the former champions are not in the Top 6 of the points table which will make for a fascinating encounter.
Jaipur's hopes will once again hinge around their star raider Arjun Deshwal. The defensive corner combination of Sandeep Dhull and Sahul Kumar will also need a perfect night to stop the U Mumba raiders.
In Ajith Kumar and Abhishek Singh, U Mumba have two clever raiders with different skill-sets. If allowed to settle, they will wreak havoc on Jaipur defence.
At the other end, Fazel Atrachali must ensure his defenders are mentally prepared for the challenge. His own personal battle, with the right raider Arjun Deshwal, could decide the outcome of the match.
Rahul Sethpal and Rinku will also need to be on their toes to ensure Deepak Hooda has a quiet game for the Panthers.
The second match of the night will see Patna Pirates take on Bengaluru Bulls.
The team from Bengaluru clinched an important win against Jaipur in their previous outing and will be hoping for another positive result to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Bharat outperformed Pawan Sehrawat for the Bulls against Jaipur which should give coach Randhir Sehrawat the confidence to go in with a two-raider strategy.
Patna have been nearly flawless in their recent outings but with the playoffs so close, they might consider giving some of their players much needed rest. It will also be an opportunity to give more confidence to their bench.
The final match of the Triple Panga night will be played between Puneri Paltan and Tamil Thalaivas.
The Pune team, under coach Anup Kumar, have seen a remarkable change in fortunes in the second half of the season. Young raiders Mohit Goyat and Aslam Inamdar have catapulted them to a possible place in the playoffs.
The work is still not done, and they will need to beat a strong Tamil Thalaivas team to make it to the eliminators.
Thalaivas will hope their defensive combination of Sagar and Surjeet Singh can conjure up some magic to stop the young raiders of Pune. Even the Tamil team stands an outside chance of making it to the playoffs.