Haryana Steelers will lock horns with U Mumba while Bengaluru Lions will take on Jaipur Pink Panthers in Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8 on Sunday with a place in the Top 6 on the line. The third game of the night will see U.P Yoddha battle Gujarat Giants.
Haryana suffered a humiliating defeat against Puneri Paltan in their previous outing and will be looking to bounce back against Mumbai. U Mumba have endured a difficult campaign with injuries affecting their form. But with Rahul Sethpal and Ajith Kumar fit, they can pull off a series of wins to ensure a playoff berth.
The second match of the night will have Bengaluru Bulls take on Jaipur Pink Panthers, needing a win to maintain their chances. The Bulls have been off-colour in their last few matches despite a strong start to their campaign. They will be looking to beat Pink Panthers to remain in contention for a Top 6 finish.
Bulls need a strong end to season
Bengaluru Bulls, captained by Pawan Sehrawat, was an early-season favourite to win the league. But their form dipped severely halfway into the tournament despite Sehrawat scoring big points. They now need a flawless end to the season to ensure they remain with a chance to challenge for the title. With just one win in their previous five matches, the Bulls certainly have no form going into the crucial encounter against Jaipur Pink Panthers.
A win will see the Panthers leapfrog Bengaluru on the points table and most importantly get into the Top 6. The key for Jaipur will be their strong defence. Sandeep Dhull, Vishal, and Sahul must ensure Pawan Sehrawat spends a lot of time away from the mat.
Their inconsistency has been the big reason for Jaipur’s mixed results. And for Bengaluru, the objective must be to revive Pawan Sehrawat as soon as possible. Bharat and Chandran Ranjit both should start to not let the Pink Panthers settle into a defence pattern. They should also save Pawan Sehrawat from any do-or-die situations. A loss for Bengaluru will put them in a difficult spot and will need other results to go in their favour to gain a playoff berth.
Meanwhile, Pardeep Narwal rolled back the clock with a vintage performance in U.P. Yoddha’s last outing against Jaipur Pink Panthers. The top star scored three Super Raids to clinch a Super 10 and give Yoddha a vital win in their race for a playoff spot. With three wins in three matches, Yoddha certainly have the momentum on their side. But Gujarat Giants can play the spoilsport on any given day.
Yoddha’s key will once again be their attacking unit. Pardeep Narwal and Surender Gill are a potent combination capable of destroying most defences in the league. Shrikant Jadhav is also available for them to add more firepower when needed.
Gujarat’s experienced defenders, including the covers Sunil Kumar and Parvesh Bhainswal, have been poor throughout the season. Against U.P. they will need to be on their toes especially because Pardeep and Surender attack different sides.
In fact, Gujarat’s best chances might be in attacking from the first whistle. In Pardeep Kumar, Rakesh and Mahendra Rajput, they have three raiders with completely different skillsets. This can confuse the opposition defence.