Patna, February 16: Leaders Patna Pirates will look to tame the Bengaluru Bulls once again in the Season 3 of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi encounter at the Patliputra Sports Complex, on home soil. That they didn’t allow the bulls to run amok at Bengaluru and outclassed them will be an advantage. The present form of the visitors isn’t good which favours the hosts. Wins against lowly Dabang Delhi K.C. and a struggling Jaipur Pink Panthers is all they have.
Whatever be the result of the ‘Eastern Derby’ on Tuesday between the Patna Pirates and Bengal Warriors, the leaders have the fire power to stop their rivals unless they collapse in a heap which though unlikely, cannot be ruled out.
Kabaddi has seen unbelievable reversals and Bengaluru Bulls must take the field believing they can author a miracle. Having nothing to lose, a shock win may just provide them a stimulus for a grand comeback.
But for that to happen, every man in the squad needs to fire. The Captain Surjeet Narwal will be the key to success but this burly raider who switched sides From Patna to Bengaluru hasn’t found his bearings yet. He is leading an inexperienced side which puts a lot of burden on his shoulders.
His coach Randhir Singh’s tactics against U Mumba baffled many. He used the aggressive Surjeet to rundown the clock with empty raids. It remains to be seen if Randhir is willing to give him a free rein to go out and launch an all-out attack tomorrow.
If Surjeet fires the experienced Amit Rathi can be trusted to chip in with 8-9 points through his steady raiding. He did that in the last meeting with the leaders at Bengaluru but the situation has changed and Amit also hurt his ankle the other day at Pune.
The home team’s defence with Sandeep Narwal back at the left corner resembles a fortress. Rival raiders get intimidated and bruised by Sandeep’s strong tactics. And trust him not to spare even his elder brother Surjeet. The others, D Suresh, Sunil and Vinod Kumar have been consistent and Amit Hooda who did admirably in Sandeep’s absence may again find himself on the bench. That’s the depth and strength of the Patna Pirates’ defence.
Pradeep and Deepak the raiding pair of Narwals, supported by the do-or-die raids specialist veteran Rajesh Mondal all make Patna Pirates a lethal combination under the astute and calm general Manpreet Singh.
If Bengaluru Bulls have to pull the rug from under their rivals’ feet their defence needs to rise to the occasion and how? Shrikant Tewthia, Deepak Kumar the corners with help from Ashish Kumar and the captain Surjeet need to not just keep the rival raiders at bay but ensure that they catch them early and keep them off-court for long spells. A win is a must and that will be the lifeline the two times semi-finalists need to keep their chances alive.