Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: Puneri Paltan defender Dharmaraj Cheralathan to miss match against Tamil Thalaivas
The Pro Kabaddi League Season 5 caravan is all set to reach its latest destination in Chennai as the ninth week and leg of the competition gets underway on Friday. The opening match of the day will feature two sides from either zone face off as the Tamil Thalaiavas take on the Puneri Paltan, in what promises to be a real high-quality encounter.
The away side are in top form, having won their last three matches and in the 12 matches they have played, they have won nine and lost just three, making them one of the genuine contenders for the title.
Their side is a perfect mix of youth and experience, as well as attacking and defensive prowess, with some star names in their lineup, who have tonnes of Pro Kabaddi experience under their belt.
One such name is Dharmaraj Cheralathan, who is their anchor in defence and led the Patna Pirates to the title triumph last season. However, he did not feature in the side's lineup in their latest win over Dabang Delhi earlier this week and now, it has been confirmed that he will not feature in their match against the Thalaivas as well.
Sources in the team's management close to Sportskeeda have confirmed that the veteran defender will not make it to the matchday squad. The reason behind the decision is that he has been given rest with the side's home leg coming up, where they will have to play six matches in eight days.
The 42-year-old has been lethal for the Pune side in the corner position and while he has not scored many points, his presence on the mat is a huge advantage for his side and has been a key reason behind the side's excellent run of form.
Despite the absence of Cheralathan, the Paltan are expected to field a highly competitive line up against the Tamil side. Deepak Hooda, who is the team's captain, will be joined in attack by Rajesh Mondal and Monu, who has been one of the best players to have emerged this season.
In defence, Girish Ernak and all-rounder Sandeep Narwal will be the key destroyers. They are likely to be joined by Ravi Kumar and Ziaur Rehman.