Star Sports Pro Kabaddi: What to expect from the Delhi Leg
The Star Sports Pro Kabaddi caravan moves to the capital of India – Delhi - for the penultimate leg of the league stage of Season 3. Home team Dabang Delhi's semifinal ambitions were all but extinguished after U Mumba's win over Bengal Warriors on the final day of the Jaipur leg. However, they would want to ensure they leave no stone unturned when the teams descend at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex, which will also be the venue for the knockout stages.
The opening match promises to be a cracker, with the best raiders on show when the home team host the Telugu Titans in the only match of the day. In the same fixture last season, records came tumbling down as the two teams manufactured a 45-45 draw, with Kashiling Adake scoring a mammoth 24 points. Rahul Chaudhari's men will be eyeing a win to keep their semifinal hopes alive as they currently lie outside the top 4.
Day 2 of the Delhi leg will first see defending champions U Mumba take on Bengaluru Bulls in a repeat of last season's final. The teams' fortunes, however, could not be more different this year, as U Mumba look set to make their third consecutive semifinal appearance while the Bulls have already crashed out of the tournament.
Next, Dabang Delhi take on pace setters Patna Pirates in the second match of the day. It will take a Herculean effort from Ravinder Pahal's men to become only the second team, after U Mumba, to beat the Pirates this season.
In a match which could determine a semifinal spot, Puneri Paltan take on Telugu Titans on Day 3 of the Delhi leg. Manjeet Chhillar's men are rounding into form at the right time, as the Paltan aim to make their debut appearance in the knockout stage of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi.
The home team will then look to stop Sonu Narwal and Co. when Jaipur Pink Panthers come calling in the second match on Day 3. The Pink Panthers' semifinal chances hang by a thread after a poor return from the Jaipur leg, and they will have to give their best to improve on their disappointing finish last season.
The final day will begin with a grudge match as Ajay Thakur and Manjeet Chhillar face their former side Bengaluru Bulls. Puneri Paltan will look to restore parity in the head-to-head between the two teams, which stands at 3-2 in favour of the Bulls.
The Bengaluru-Pune match will serve as a precursor to the mouth-watering clash between Dabang Delhi and Bengal Warriors. Nilesh Shinde's team has surprised everyone this season and they will be eager to inflict further misery on the Eagles in the final match of the leg.
The Delhi leg comes at a crucial juncture of the season, and is likely to give a clear indication by its end about who will make the semis. The top 4 teams will return to the Thyagaraj Sports Complex to fight for the title after the final leg in Mumbai, so it would be a good idea for all the players to acclimatize themselves to the conditions here.