Bengaluru, Jan 31 (Kabaddi News) Defending champions Bengal Warriors take on Gujarat Giants while Bengaluru Bulls will be up against UP Yoddha in a double-header match day of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) here on Tuesday.
The Warriors are the in-form side with three wins in their last four matches and will be expected to give an out-of-form Gujarat team a difficult time on the mat.
The sixth season champions Bengaluru Bulls have been struggling and will need a victory against the well-oiled UP Yoddha to stay in the hunt for a top place finish.
Gujarat suffered a morale-sapping loss against Delhi with both their raiders and defenders failing to clinch the points. Coach Manpreet Singh has tried different raiding combinations, but their attack has lacked the quality to excel in the PKL.
Barring Rakesh's occasional brilliance, there have been no noteworthy performances from the team's raiders. Pardeep Kumar, who scored seven points against Delhi, would be expected to partner Rakesh in the attack against the Warriors.
The Warriors defence has looked better in the recent matches since the return of Ran Singh in the left corner. They also played seasoned star Vishal Mane in the covers to add strength to their charges.
They have a significantly better raiding unit thanks to captain Maninder Singh. He has 178 raid points this season (second-best in the league) and will be hoping his partners Mohammad Nabibakhsh and Sukesh Hegde can back him up against the experienced Gujarat defence.
The cover combination of Parvesh Bhainswal and Sunil Kumar has often struggled against pacy raiders but Warriors' raiding trio is not known for swiftness on the mat.
Bengaluru Bulls were the early season favourites to top the league. But with one win in five matches, their season is at the risk of spiralling downwards.
Over-reliance on their captain and lead raider Pawan Sehrawat, who has scored the highest raid points in the tournament, has led to the decline in confidence of other raiders.
In Bharat, Chandran Ranjit and Deepak Narwal, they have a trio of well-equipped raiders which needs to be given a bigger role, especially with Pawan putting himself in dangerous positions in defence.
The last few matches have seen Pawan taking up the cover and corner positions for the Bulls — a strange decision considering how the team needs him on the mat to guide them.
Coach Randhir Sehrawat also opted to not start their dependable defenders Saurabh Nandal and Mahender Singh in the defeat against Thalaivas. There is some issue brewing in the Bulls' camp which could be an opportunity for UP Yoddha to halt their losing streak.
Surender Gill's heroics has not been enough for Yoddha in their recent outings. Pardeep Narwal still looks the shadow of his former best while Shrikant Jadhav has not been consistent.
Yoddha's defence produced a record-setting 22-point defensive masterclass when the sides met earlier in the season.
News Source : PTI