Pro Kabaddi: Telugu Titans face stiff test from Patna Pirates
The Telugu Titans outclassed the Bengal Warriors by a 16-point margin, but there is barely any time for rest. The team will be out in force looking to get their plans ready for the difficult game against the Pirates this evening.
The local team does have a settled look, especially after a fluid performance last night. Sukesh Hegde and Rahul Chaudhari have been on song this week and Meraj, the raider from Iran is slowly getting into the groove.
Sandeep has been accumulating catches at a steady clip and very few raiders have the courage to take their eyes off this athletic defender, lest they suffer being pouched in his fearless embrace. Deepak Hudda’s all-round skills are coming in handy whenever the team needs to respond to depleting resources.
Questions do exist about the fitness of Hadi Oshtorak, so we will need to wait and watch that space. The Iranian is a handy presence on the right, but he seems to still need a few more games to acquaint himself with the Indian nuances of playing the game.
The Pirates are a strong team under the leadership of Rakesh Kumar, who is also the India captain. Kumar is a wily allrounder with a keen sense of the game and its drift. Victories over Dabang Delhi and Puneri Paltan have given the team much needed confidence ahead of their second encounter against the Titans. However, the former Indian captain is out with an injury.
While the team from Pune is lying bottom of the league, Patna and Delhi are neighbours on the table – in fourth and fifth respectively. The fact that they breezed past Delhi with a 17-point margin when they met in Patna, finally suggested that the Pirates have developed into a unit that can deliver.
But then, they will also find it hard to forget that the Titans beat them in their own den in a 12-point game that ended 34-22 in favour of the visitors. The Pirates need a few things to fall in place very early in their game tonight to have a chance of upsetting the Titans.
The Pirates will need to use Deepak Narwal and Ravi Dalal up-front to try and unsettle the Titans with a couple of productive raids early in the game. After that Rakesh will find it easier to impose himself on the game and try and weaken the Titans with his intelligent kabaddi.
The Titans though will march out in strength and carry the confidence that shall reverberate through the raucous voices of the over 3000 fans that shall fill the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium. Either ways, this is a game that will not fail to excite. Tune in at 9 pm for a treat to the senses.
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