The Inter-zone challenge week of the Pro Kabaddi 2018 will feature matches played between teams from two different zones and are the wildcard matches of PKL. These games are of crucial importance in deciding outcomes of who will qualify. The first Inter-zone Challenge week of PKL 6 is from 21 October to 28 October.
Here are a few key players who are sure to make an impact on this week's crucial set of games.
#5 Maninder Singh (Bengal Warriors)
With 36 points from 3 games, Maninder remains the star player for the Warriors. The side have won 2 and tied one largely due to the late bursts and solid raiding from this man. His running hand touch has been swift and nimble-footed, so is his knack of scoring bonus points and multiple point raids.
The Warriors take on Dabang Delhi in the first Inter-zone Challenge match on Sunday. Maninder will no doubt be a key factor in the side's performance and if he continues performing this way, there'll be no stopping the Bengal Warriors.
#4 Vishal Bharadwaj (Telugu Titans)
Vishal's performance against the Patna Pirates really stood out as he took out most of the Patna raiders when they had the lead to slowly bring back the Titans into the game. Even when they were down to 2 and when Pardeep was raiding, he stood his ground and didn't allow Patna to close the game out.The captain of the Telugu Titans has been brilliant this season scoring 18 points in 4 games. He has a high tackle success rate of 74% and has forged a deadly alliance with Abozar Mighani who has been equally impressive. The Telugu Titans have averaged the highest in tackle points, largely due to his and Abozar's efforts.
Vishal was able to stop Pardeep and Manjeet with his diving ankle holds and powerful thigh holds and emerged with 8 tackle points from that match. If the Titans attack led by Rahul Chaudhari can conjure up a solid performance against U Mumba on 23rd October, the defence will certainly be ready to close the game out and lead the Titans to yet another glorious victory.
#3 Nitin Tomar (Puneri Paltan)
Nitin Tomar has been the best player for the Paltan and arguably the most consistent player in the league. He has 80 points in 7 games and has been their source of points. The Paltan are at the top of the Zone A table with 25 points.
He has proven his understanding of the game by cleverly forcing errors by defenders in do or die raids and has upgraded his arsenal of raiding moves. He has been taking a lot of bonus points and has been ably supported by Monu and More GB.
They will look to replace the inconsistent Rajesh Narwal. He has also just bludgeoned the defenders just blowing past him towards the middle line. This clearly showcases his tremendous amount of strength.
He has been consistent and will look to continue in the same form and will hope for more support from the other raiders. The Paltan will look to win the remaining matches in their home leg and retain their place at the top of the table.
#2 Pawan Shehrawat (Bengaluru Bulls)
Pawan has been the best young talent this season scoring 36 points in 2 games both against the Tamil Thalaivas. He has been their lead raider along with Kashiling Adake shadowing captain Rohit Kumar who has had struggles with fitness. Although Rohit's return may have adverse effects on his number of raids, he has announced himself and has repaid the faith his proud coach Randhir Singh had in him with excellent and disciplined raiding.
He is a left raider who has a very swift running hand touch and a quick toe touch. More than those skills, he is tall and is very fast in turning and is an escape artist specializing in taking points in a heap.
He had one 5 point raid and one 4 point raid in the first match against the Tamil Thalaivas. He has had 2 more super raids since and has the most number of super raids in the league. He has played only 2 games and that stat stands out among all his other achievements.
He has been the team's superstar so far and will look to remain consistent and help his side get another win when they play home team Puneri Paltan on Sunday.
#1 Siddharth Desai (U Mumba)
Siddharth has been the find of the season and has been U Mumba's stand out performer. Siddharth has amassed 65 points from 5 games and has just been superb with his raiding.
He is a left raider with a very swift running hand touch, toe touch and is yet another escape artist. His large frame has a surprisingly quick turn and most corners find it tough to stop this guy.
With the team being strong defensively, they have heavily relied on his raiding with occasional support from Rohit Baliyan and Abhishek both of them being rotated constantly. In the recent match vs Puneri Paltan where he scored 15 points and rescued the team from a difficult situation. When the scores were level with 40 seconds remaining, he went in to raid when only three defenders were on the mat for the Paltan and he accidentally stepped into the lobby and this granted 2 points to the Paltan who won by one point.
Although that was unfortunate, the team will take confidence from that the fact that they have such a game-changing raider who can change games at will. He will certainly look to make amends by leading his side's attack against the Telugu Titans on 23rd October.
With the Inter-Zone Challenge Week in play, click here to see the team positions in the Pro Kabaddi Season 6 Points Table.Published 21 Oct 2018, 20:27 IST