Pro Kabaddi Season 4: Patna Pirates on course to defend their title
Patna Pirates were not as successful as they would have wanted to be in the first two seasons of Pro Kabaddi League, as they could not manage to move beyond the semi-final stage in both the seasons. Season 1 saw them losing in the semi-finals, but they won the 3rd place playoff over Bengaluru Bulls to finish third in the inaugural season of PKL.
They finished 4th in Season 2, losing to eventual champions U Mumba in the semi-finals. The third season of PKL for Patna Pirates was magnificent, and their phenomenal form in the league on a consistent basis helped them to win the title and become the champions of Season 3.
They saw their dream of becoming title holders come true, by defeating U Mumba in the summit clash of the third season.
The Pirates were quite smart in the auction for Season 4 as they retained the talented Pradeep Narwal, winner of last season's ‘Emerging Player of the Season’ award and Rajesh Mondal, their do-or-die specialist. They did lose Sandeep Narwal and Season 3’s MVP Rohit Kumar, but made some great buys in the form of Iranian Fazel Atrachali, one of the cornerstones of U Mumba’s defence for the first three seasons, the experienced Dharmaraj Cheralathan, Bajirao Hodage, and all-rounder Kuldeep Singh.
They also bought Surjeet Singh, who was sensational for Dabang Delhi last season. The revamped side and the new addition of players to the team gives the side a high chance of retaining the title, something that no club has done so far.
Season 4 has been amazing for the side, as they have won all three of their matches to lie fifth in the table. Their splendid display on the court has given them 15 points in the 3 matches, and they are the only unbeaten side in the League after the first two legs.
They won their first match of the season against table toppers Puneri Paltan (30-24) quite convincingly, and had substantial performances in both the offence and defence . They beat the most successful team in the history of PKL, U Mumba 36-34 in a nail-biter in the second match.
Their win against Mumbai tells us about the never-give-up attitude that the team has, and their efforts clearly give out the message that the Pirates mean business. They beat Telugu Titans 35-33 in their third match in an absolute thriller, one that went down to the wire and has been one of the most astounding matches of the season till now.
Another factor that would make the Pirates happy is the outstanding form of their star raider, Pardeep Narwal. The highly rated youngster currently lies on the third position in the list of top raiders with 26 successful raids and 36 raid points. He was the force behind their victory over Mumbai and Hyderabad, a match that would have had a different result for the Pirates if not for him.
He was a class apart in the match against U Mumba which Patna won 36-34, with 18 raid points to his name, he is the player to watch out for. He also had a great match against Telugu Titans as he collected 11 very important raid points for his team and helped them out of a crunch situation, and his precious raid points made all the difference in the match.
His form tells us that other teams have to be wary of him and get their plans right the next time they face Patna Pirates.
The team as a whole has been playing quite well, with each player trying his best to contribute to the team’s success. Their defence also looks good, and Bajirao Hodage has adjusted well in the team. Dharmaraj Cheralathan is also in good form, and both the defenders have managed to stop raiders from scoring points at crucial moments.
The solid defence of the team has made the other franchises take note, as they will have a very difficult time in their attempts to score points against Patna.
With the team looking good in all departments of the game, and the team spirit of the team being quite high, it can be a safe bet to expect the Pirates to continue the way they have been playing in the League, and if they remain consistent with their offence, defence and team work, then they can go on to win the League and become two-time champions of PKL.