Pro Kabaddi 2016 Season 4: The Patna Pirates juggernaut rolls on
When the Patna Pirates edged out U Mumba in the last season’s nail biting final a few months ago, what the world saw them earning was the glittering trophy of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi season 3. But after seeing them in Season 4, one is bound to think that what the Patna Pirates also secretly sneaked away from the U Mumba that night was their cloak of invincibility.
The team that had played just one match in each leg of Pro Kabaddi 2016 Season 4 till yesterday continued their domination in the first match of the home leg as well as the Pirates looted the Paltan from Pune to register their 4th straight win.
As a result, the team coached by Arjun Singh, now has as many points as table toppers Jaipur Pink Panthers and Puneri Paltans, despite playing a couple of matches less than them. So, what’s exactly clicking for this team? Everything, If the performance in the four matches are anything to go by. As the defending champions of last season, the team obviously entered the 4th edition with the ‘favorites’ tag.
However, the pre-season auction had ensured that such tags would amount to nothing once the competition ensues. Even, U Mumba’s coach Bhaskaran E had expressed this sentiment after his team’s win over Dabang Delhi “The auction provided enough cushion to balance the teams. Most of the teams have managed to get their mix right but some are still struggling and can be considered as weak. Our team is also struggling and now we are trying to eliminate our mistakes and play a better game in coming fixtures.”
Also Read: Pro Kabaddi 2016, Season 4 – Live Match Telecast: Patna Pirates vs Bengaluru Bulls, PKL Season 4 match 22 online at Starsports.com
But one team that looks completely unaffected by the changes is the team led by Dharmaraj Cheralathan. The team hasn’t put a foot wrong in the tournament, and even if they do, they balance it out by putting two feet right. That’s why the team sits prettily at third with a 4 out of 4 winning streak and one more win will see them leapfrog past the Puneri Paltan and the Panthers from Jaipur.
The beauty of this streak lies in the way the wins have been crafted by the Pirates. In their first match, they were playing a buoyed by two home wins Puneri Paltan and brought them down with clinical precision to win the match 30-24.
Next up, they found U Mumba in their way, and while the narrow margin of 2 points would suggest that it was a hard fought win, it also obscures that Patna had secured a comfortable 10 point lead in the match which was then reduced to two eventually by Rishank Devadiga’s individual brilliance. The team’s performance against Telugu Titans had ‘Champions’ written all over it. With 7 minutes left on the clock, the team from Patna were behind by a 9 points margin.
But what transpired then saw the viewers’ jaws drop. The Pirates robbed the Titans of what at one point seemed a comfortable victory for them. The Pirates made short work of a struggling Bengaluru last night to stamp their authority on the tournament.
Young Pardeep Narwal has certainly been the team’s hero, but it hasnt been a one man show as everyone has chipped in with crucial points here and there to bring the team to this position. Dharamaraj Cheralathan’s calm captaincy needs to be lauded as much as his defence, where the 41 year old is viciously tackling raiders half his age with elan. Rajesh Mondal has been the perfect anchor to the young Narwal and for Fazel Atrachali, the change in the jersey’s colour seems to have made no difference to his game.
The team has two of the easiest contests waiting for them in their next two home games as they face a battered and bruised Bengal Warriors before meeting another equally unimpressive Dabang Delhi. If the team can win 6 out of 6, they shall be sniffing the doors of the semis. And, well, if there is any team that deserves a spot there, it is them. Meanwhile, U Mumba can launch an investigation into what all was looted by the Pirates on the night of the finals last season, as their dominance surely looks lost in Season 4.