5 ways how Puneri Paltan can beat all the odds and make the semi-finals of Pro Kabaddi
A look at what Puneri Paltan needs to do to turn their fortunes around
Six defeats in seven games have left the Puneri Paltan on the brink of elimination in Star Sports Pro Kabaddi. Having gained five points in six of their losses, it’s been a case of fine margins for the Pune side. As injuries to key players have crippled their chances, failure to win the crucial points in games, have led to their demise in all the games barring one.
Puneri Paltan now find themselves having to turn over a ten point deficit over the fourth-placed side Patna Pirates as they bid to make an unbelievable turnaround in their fortunes. With all the odds stacked against the Paltans, we take a look at how the men from Pune could spring up a surprise.
1. Home Sweet Home
The Pro Kabaddi caravan is yet to reach Pune. With the Paltan scheduled to play four games at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune against all the other contenders for the semi-final spots, Pune could spark a turnaround with the backing of their home support. With atleast twenty points up for grabs at the Pune leg, the Paltans could take a leaf out of Patna’s books and make the home advantage count to sneak into the semi-final spots.
2. Winnable run-in to the Pune Leg
Pune face red-hot Telugu Titans, Champions Jaipur Pink Panthers and fellow strugglers Bengal Warriors in the run-in to the home leg. It is vitally important for Pune to keep their hopes alive until they entertain their visitors in Pune. The Titans look unstoppable right now and are the toughest test for the Paltan in the run-in. But, with a semi-final spot almost assured, the Titans could take the foot off the gas and experiment before the semi-finals, which may allow the Paltan to capitalize.
The Pink Panthers, on the other hand, have had a patchy season and despite beating Pune recently, remain vulnerable. Bengal Warriors remain Pune’s only victims this season and with the motivation of taking the fight to Pune, the Paltan could well repeat that feat.
3. Easing injury concerns
Pune’s season has been badly affected by injury to really important players at crucial junctures. Yogesh Hudda was really turning it on early on in the season, before injury kept him on the sidelines. Skipper Wazir Singh’s performances also have been affected due to injury as he sat out of the Jaipur game. But with both the players back at Ashok Shinde’s disposal for Friday’s game, Pune could well embark on a journey to recovery.
4. Rampant Pravin Niwale
Pravin Niwale has stepped up to the plate at the best possible time for the Puneri Paltan. Having notched up twenty five raid points in the last three games, Pravin has found his way into the top ten raiders in the League. Pravin is a local boy and is expected to get plenty of support when the games will be played in Pune which will only help the veteran’s cause.
5. Nothing to lose, the only way is up
When you are down in disarray and being written off by every Tom, Dick and Harry, the pressure is off you. No one expects the Puneri Paltan to get off the bottom, let alone make it to the semi-finals. Being the underdog many a times gets the best out of you and that’s what Ashok Shinde will be telling his side. Things can’t go any further wrong for the Puneri paltan from here. So the only way for them from here is up. So write them off at their own peril.