The home side Telugu Titans take on the Patna Pirates in a Zone B clash of the PKL 2018 at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Vizag on Thursday at 8 pm IST. With the Bengal Warriors breathing down their neck, the Telugu Titans cannot afford to lose any more of the remaining matches, if they want to make it to the playoffs.
The Titans lost yesterday's encounter 24-37 to the Bengaluru Bulls in yet another defeat in their home leg. They used Rahul Chaudhari (4 points) sparsely and most of the times in do-or-die raids only, which seemed a way to balance the playtime while giving him optimum rest.
Nilesh Salunke was dropped from the starting lineup after his poor performance against the UP Yoddha but was soon called in as a substitute where he showed a glimpse of his former, brilliant self with 6 points off his 8 attempted raids to emerge his team's top raider on the night.
The Patna Pirates, on the other hand, are coming off a dominating 17-point win over the Puneri Paltan courtesy a stupendous 27-raid-point masterpiece by Pardeep Narwal. While the Pirates had a great overall outing against Puneri Paltan with 33 raid and 12 tackle points, individually some of the players were not up to the mark and were substituted on the night.
Tae Deok Eom, Deepak Narwal and Jawahar returned empty-handed from the match and would likely be replaced by Manish, Vijay and Ravinder Kumar in tonight's match against the Titans.
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Key Battles to keep an eye on
#1 Rahul Chaudhari (two-sided raider) vs Jaideep (left corner)
#2 Pardeep Narwal (left raider) vs Abozar Mighani (right corner)
Probable playing 7
Telugu Titans: Vishal Bhardwaj (c), Rahul Chaudhari, Nilesh Salunke, Mohsen Maghsoudlou, Anuj Kumar, Anil Kumar, and Abozar Mighani
Patna Pirates: Pardeep Narwal (c), Manjeet, Vijay, Manish, Vikas Kale, Ravinder Kumar, and Jaideep
When and where to watch: 20:00 IST on the Star Sports network and on digital streaming platform Hotstar.