Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: Pardeep Narwal is the Virat Kohli of kabaddi, says Gujarat Fortunegiants coach Manpreet Singh
On Tuesday, Gujarat Fortunegiants secured a thumping 42-17 victory against Bengal Warriors. In recent weeks, the men in red and yellow have been untouchable. Simply put, not a single opponent has managed to keep pace with their aggressive style of play.
The excitement in Gujarat coach, Manpreet Singh's voice was palpable as he realizes his team are the firm favourites to lift the trophy.
At the same time, he was also smart enough to understand that a possible threat looms large. If Patna Pirates manage to win their encounter against Bengal Warriors, Manpreet's men will have to find a way to stop Pardeep Narwal in the finals. Asked about what he thinks of the league's most successful raider, Singh drew an extremely interesting parallel.
"What do you think? You tell me. Pardeep Narwal is the star of Pro Kabaddi, he is no less than Virat Kohli. But we have shown that Pardeep is human after all. We did not let him score a super 10 in the previous two matches," he stated.
The manner in which Gujarat brushed aside Bengal Warriors was scary, to say the least. They did not give their opponents a sniff and relentlessly hounded their raiders throughout the game.
Manpreet believes the gulf in class between his team and the rest is too large to reduce at this stage of the competition. Right now, Gujarat's self-confidence is off the charts. Rarely do we see a coach so assured of his side's abilities.
"Winning one match is not a big deal. Even if we play to 50% of our potential, we will win the championship. When we played during our home leg, our final match was against Bengal Warriors and we drew that one."
"This, despite the fact that we had played five matches on the trot prior to that. We did not even plan much that time. Everyone thought this would be a tough match but my players did not feel the same," he added.
The Fortunegiants look like they can do no wrong at the moment. Credit must go to the entire team and support staff for keeping the players fresh throughout the duration of the three-month-long season. But, we've seen greater upsets over the last 80-odd days.
For Gujarat to not win the title, either Bengal Warriors or Patna Pirates will need to pull off a never-seen-before performance. The chances of that occurring are not too far-fetched though. It remains to be seen who will lock horns with Manpreet's warriors.