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Pro Kabaddi 2016 Season 4: Iranian trio can lead Patna Pirates to title win

892   //    31 Jul 2016, 14:49 IST
Fazel Atrachalia Abolfazel Maghsodlo
Fazel Atrachali (R) and Abolfazel Maghsodlo (background) will play a crucial role in the final

The moment you talk about Patna Pirates in Pro Kabaddi 2016 Season 4, your mind automatically goes to their star raider Pardeep Narwal, who has been nothing short of scintillating this campaign, scoring an incredible 115 points. However, when Patna Pirates step foot on the mat in the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium tonight to take on Jaipur Pink Panthers in the final of Pro Kabaddi 4, it will take more than just Pardeep Narwal to take Jasvir Singh’s men down. Maybe an Iranian trio will do.

Without not a lot of people noticing, Patna Pirates’s successful campaign in Pro Kabaddi 2016 Season 4 has been fuelled by three Iranians, namely Fazel Atrachali, Abolfazel Maghsodlo and Hadi Oshtorak. The three Iranians might not speak on the mike and in press conferences but they roar and roar loud on the kabaddi mat, indicating to what a powerhouse of kabaddi talent is their country.

The proportions of their contributions have varied significantly but the crucial take away from this is the kind of solidity they lend to a squad already bustling with talent. Not having your captain (Dharmaraj Cheralathan) in form can be a huge setback but it does not seem to affect Patna Pirates at all and that can be mainly attributed to the presence of a certain Fazel Atrachali, who has been the backbone of their defence in Pro Kabaddi 4. 

When Fazel Atrachali moved from U Mumba to Patna Pirates, everyone knew that the team from Bihar had landed themselves a winner and it has been proved. Even if the Pirates are not able to defend their title tonight against Jaipur, Atrachali will still be ranked among the best transfers in the history of Pro Kabaddi. Taking defensive responsibilities like a true leader, the Iranian has effected 44 sucessful tackles, on par with Mohit Chillar (Bengaluru Bulls) and Amit Hooda (Jaipur Pink Panthers).

The former U Mumba defender has shown why he is so highly rated and his performance in the semi-final against Puneri Paltan symbolised the talent he possesses. He performed crucial tackles and supported Kuldeep Singh tremendously when they were down to two men or three men. Despite being shown the yellow card and sent off the mat for two minutes, Fazel bounced back and ensured his side was victorious.

Atrachali’s partner in defence and Patna Pirates’ hero in semi-final, Hadi Oshtorak, represents the defending champions’ bench strength and it is quite incredible. What would usually happen when, in a big match, a team’s skipper is not playing well and has to be brought off court? The team would panic a little and be stressed? Not Patna Pirates. Off went Dharmaraj Cheralathan against Puneri Paltan and on came Hadi Oshtorak. The rest, as they say, is history.

Hadi Oshtorak accumulated four tackle points on the night and he also had one Super Tackle, which is not too bad for someone who has not started reguarly. Decisive, aggressive and tactful, the Iranian combined with compatriot Atrachali to negate the threat posed by an in-form Deepak Niwas Hooda. Oshtorak’s performance in the semi-final was a huge bonus for Patna Pirates and should Cheralathan not be on top of his game, he can always rely on the Iranian.

The last third of Patna Pirates’ Iranian trio is somewhat like what Ajay Kumar is to Jaipur Pink Panthers, just a little more unpredictable and significantly taller. Abolfazel Maghsodlo is a joker up Patna Pirates’ sleeve that they can play at any point in a particular match, right from when they want to put pressure on opponents through aggressive tactics or Pardeep Narwal needs rest and a backup.

In the 12 matches Abolfazel has played, he has scored 25 raid points without starting quite often and that is not bad at all. He has the uncanny knack of getting points on the do or die raid, which comes in handy for Patna Pirates, taking the pressure off Pardeep Narwal. Patna Pirates lost their last league game against Telugu Titans by a huge margin of 21 points but Abolfazel started that game and almost got a Super 10 on the night.

Patna Pirates will go into the final against Jaipur Pink Panthers as firm favourites but nothing is going to come easy for them, given the strength and resilience of their opponents. The defending champions, if they are to win the crown for the second year running, will need to bring their A game on the mat and the Iranian trio will play a huge role. While we might not see Abolfazel and Hadi figuring for large portions like Fazel, their contributions, no matter how big or small, could decide the match.