EXCERPT: Gujarat Fortune Giants boast a 5-0 head-to-head record against U Mumba
Wednesday will be a crucial day in the Pro Kabaddi 2018 as the top two teams of Zone A go head to head at the TransStadia in Ahmedabad. Last year’s finalists Gujarat Fortune Giants host Season 2 winners U Mumba in the penultimate day of the Gujarat leg.
The home team come into the match as wounded tigers after suffering a shock loss at the hands of Dabang Delhi. Despite a High 5 for stalwart Parvesh Bhainswal and a 9-point haul for Sachin Tawar, the hosts ended up on the wrong side of a 26-29 scoreline.
Prior to the caravan moving to Ahmedabad, the PKL was played in Mumbai where U Mumba registered 4 wins and 2 losses. The visitors would be in good spirits after registering 3 wins on the bounce at the NSCI in Mumbai. They should be the fresher of the two teams as their last match was played on 15th November.
The previous encounter between the two sides was a very narrow affair as the Sunil Kumar-led side emerged victorious in Mumbai. Siddharth Desai was on fire for the home team by scoring 13 points but an all-round performance by the Fortune Giants ensured a 38-36 win for them.
U Mumba will be aiming to exact revenge on their opponents, who have looked the stronger of the two ever since the league was expanded to 12 teams. The shift in power would have the Season 2 winners worried as their head to head record against the team from Gujarat reads 0-5 with all wins coming for the newly formed outfit. A win in Ahmedabad should not only arrest this alarming decline, but also show that they are contenders and not pretenders.
Despite having the better of their opponents in the past, it will not be an easy match for Gujarat Fortune Giants as they go up against the top scoring raider and defender. Debutant Siddharth Desai has taken the league by storm, mustering 134 points and the defensive astute Fortune Giants will need to be wary of the wily raider. Coach Manpreet Singh will have briefed Parvesh Bhainswal and Sunil Kumar about Desai well before the match.
On the other end, the Gujarat raiders will need to be careful of Iranian Fazel Atrachali. The left corner has been at his very best this season, heading the defensive charts with 57 tackle points. The Fortune Giants have just 1 raider (Sachin Tawar) in the Top 20 point scorers this season. The team’s raiding department will have to up their performance massively for this game with Atrachali waiting with bated breath on the other side.
It is set to be a cracker of a match between two teams playing contrasting styles of kabaddi. Gujarat rely heavily on their defence while U Mumba are more of a raiding outfit. It should boil down to how well the hosts’ defensive unit functions on the night. If they manage to keep Desai quiet, it should be yet another win over U Mumba for Gujarat.
Will the relaxed U Mumba continue their winning run and get their first win over the Fortune Giants? Or will the hosts be able to take advantage of their past record and complete the double over them this season? Tune in tonight at 9 PM to find out who takes the top spot in Zone A Pro Kabaddi Points Table.
Show your support, buy official Gujarat Fortune Giants merchandise online on Souled Store.Published 21 Nov 2018, 16:48 IST