Pro Kabaddi 2022: 3 changes Gujarat Giants need to make to get back to winning ways

Gujarat Giants are 11th in the Pro Kabaddi 2022 points table (Image: Pro Kabaddi League)
Gujarat Giants are currently 11th in the Pro Kabaddi 2022 points table (Image: Pro Kabaddi League)

The Gujarat Giants were one of the four new franchises that joined the Pro Kabaddi League in 2017. The Ahmedabad-based franchise achieved a lot of success in its first two seasons by qualifying for the finals but fell short of the championship both times.

The Giants have not made it to the summit clash since the 2018 season, but they qualified for last season's playoffs, losing against the Bengaluru Bulls in the Eliminator match.

This year, the Gujarat Giants find themselves on the verge of an early elimination from the Pro Kabaddi League. They are 11th in the PKL 2022 points table with only five wins in 15 matches. The good thing is that they are still alive in the race to the playoffs. They need to win their remaining seven league matches to book a place in the next round.

It is a herculean task, considering that the Gujarat Giants have lost their last four Pro Kabaddi League matches. However, it is not an impossible one. The Giants have an enormous amount of talent in their squad, and coach Ram Meher Singh knows how to turn things around in quick time.

The Giants will have to make some changes to return to winning ways. On that note, here are three strategic alterations that may help the Ahmedabad-based franchise snap its four-match losing streak in the Pro Kabaddi League.

#1 Gujarat Giants should back their experienced corner defenders

Gujarat Giants have constantly changed their defensive combination (Image: PKL)
Gujarat Giants have constantly changed their defensive combination (Image: PKL)

Gujarat used to have a rock solid defense in the past, but the same is not the case in Pro Kabaddi 2022. The inconsistent showing in defense has forced the team management to make changes quite frequently.

In the last four matches, vice-captain Rinku Narwal has played in the left corner position, but the right corner has changed thrice. Manuj was the right corner in the matches against the Bengal Warriors and Haryana Steelers, while Sourav Gulia and Shankar Gadai played as right corner defenders in the games against Bengaluru Bulls and UP Yoddhas, respectively.

On top of that, Gujarat substituted Gadai at half-time against the UP Yoddhas and gave the position to Baldev Singh. It was a little surprising to see the Giants not using the combination of Baldev and Rinku Narwal before. Both defenders starred in the Bengal Warriors' PKL 2019 triumph.

Gujarat should stick with the duo of Baldev Singh and Rinku Narwal as their corner defenders in the remaining games.

#2 Gujarat Giants should trust their experienced raiders

Gujarat Giants have some experienced names like Pardeep Kumar, Rohit Kumar, Mahendra Rajput and Prashanth Kumar Rai in their squad. Three of Gujarat's last four defeats were by margins of seven points or less.

This statistic highlights that some young players of Gujarat have not been able to hold their nerves in tense situations. Perhaps, using the aforementioned raiders more could help them win close games.

#3 Mahendra Rajput should feature in the playing seven

Mahendra Rajput has not been a regular part of Gujarat's playing seven. He has still managed to earn 35 points in the tournament. Rakesh HS has struggled for form in recent matches. Hence, the Ahmedabad-based franchise should make a tough call soon.

Rajput can play the supporting raider's role to perfection for Gujarat. Whenever needed, the team can also use Prashanth Kumar Rai and Rohit Kumar.

By making some smart changes to their team, Gujarat can make it to the playoffs. It will be interesting to see if they can finish in the top 6.

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