Match Day 45 Preview and Prediction

The Home Team Telugu Titans will be back in action to eye for another major upset

As the Pro Kabaddi Season 9 is racing toward the playoff stages, we are going to witness nail-biting clashes day in, and day out. Up next on the cards is Matchday 45 which will be held at Gachibowli Indoor Stadium of Hyderabad on Monday from 7:30 PM onwards. 

The double-header day will be kick-started with the battle between two legendary raiders turned captains, Pardeep Narwal of UP Yoddhas and Maninder Singh of Bengal Warriors. Then the stoplight will be shifted towards the second game of the day where the inaugural champions Jaipur Pink Panthers will be up against the home side Telugu Titans

Match 106: UP Yoddhas vs Bengal Warriors 

The UP Yoddhas fans witnessed a quick turnaround of their fortunes in the new leadership of Pardeep Narwal who has kept their playoff hopes alive despite the absence of the strike raider Surender Gill. The record-breaker somehow managed to avoid an upset against the eleventh-placed Gujarat Giants side to emerge victorious on the final scoreline of 35-31. Meanwhile, the confidence of the Bengal camp will be sky-high especially after stunning the heavyweights Bengaluru Bulls to strengthen their claim for the playoff qualification ticket. 

The first chapter of Season 9 between these two combatants occurred in the first week of November which ended with an equivalent scoreline of 41-41 at the full-time whistle. Interestingly Surinder Gill was unavailable due to fitness concerns in that fixture too but the brilliance of the youngster Rohit Tomar did not let the fans realize the absence of the stalwart assassin. Mighty Maninder once again proved to the PKL universe why he is the most valuable player for the Sky Blues after scoring 18 raid points at a phenomenal strike rate of 75%. 

The social media handles of the Yoddhas have hinted at the comeback of Gill who may lead the UP raiding unit along with captain Pardeep Narwal and Rohit Tomar at the kick-off. Rohit did not find a place in the Starting Seven against Gujarat but still went on to score five raid points and five tackle points coming off the bench. It is highly speculated that UP gaffer will be promoting Gill and Rohit directly into the First Seven in place of Anil and Mahipal. 

The inclusion of Manoj Gowda into the Starting Seven is paying off for the Warriors as the Karnataka-based raider is donning the role of the third raider exceptionally well. Interestingly, K Bhaskaran only made a single substitution in the Bengaluru Bulls game which indicated he won’t be considering any changes in the forthcoming fixtures as well. Maninder Singh, Shrikant Jadhav, and Girish Ernak took them to the victory point against the Bulls as the Bengal must be expecting the same from the three pillars of the franchise.

It is going to be an exciting contest between two combatants who are battling to extend their stay in the top half of the standings. The key to success in this encounter will be stopping the strike raider of the opposition as both of them are capable enough to turn the game in their favor under any circumstances. 

Predicted Starting Seven

UP Yoddhas: Pardeep Narwal (C), Surender Gill, Rohit Tomar; Gurdeep Sangwan, Ashu Singh; Sumit Sangwan, Nitesh Kumar 

Bengal Warriors: Maninder Singh (C), Shrikant Jadhav, Manoj Gowda; Balaji Dhanapal, Vaibhav Garje; Girish Ernak, Shubham Shinde 

Match 107: Telugu Titans vs Jaipur Pink Panthers 

The debutant Ankush Rathee is leading the defensive department of Jaipur Pink Panthers

The debutant Ankush Rathee is leading the defensive department of Jaipur Pink Panthers

Jaipur ended the triumphant run of the Tamil Thalaivas side after completely dominating the dark horses and thrashing them by 15 points of margin on Friday. The Tamizhan assailant V Ajith Kumar who was playing against his home side played up to his reputation for the first time this season and went on to score 9 raid points while getting caught by the opposition defense only on a single occasion throughout the play. On the other hand, the heroics of Baahubali Siddharth Desai and Vishal Bharadwaj went in vain as Telugu Titans ended up on the losing side of a thrilling 36-35 encounter. 

When the last time these two sides faced each other at the stage of Pro Kabaddi Season 9, the Pink Panthers overpowered the Yellow and Blacks. The Services star Arjun Deshwal bagged his well-deserved Super 10 while both Jaipur corners, Sahul Kumar and Ankush Rathee attained their landmark of High 5s to register a thumping triumph at the scoreline of 51-27. The only player from the Titans camp who was not substituted out in the 40 minutes was Adarsh T who fetched 9 raid points at the strike rate of 75%. 

Jaipur’s experiment of playing a 5-2 combination failed miserably as they had to revert back to the standard 4-3 formation in the Tamil Thalaivas fixture. The experience of the legendary Rahul Chaudhari is much-needed for the Pink Panthers on the mat while Ajith Kumar has also proved his worth in his most recent appearance. A high 5 against the Thalaivas has helped Ankush Rathee to get back his claim on the Orange Armband and momentum to keep it for a longer period. 

Telugu’s over-dependency for raiding responsibilities on Siddharth Desai is evident and the opponent teams are also targeting it for counterattacks. The Iranian all-rounder Mohsen Maghsoudlou is delivering performances in bits and pieces but it’s still not enough to fulfil the voids of a proper third raider. Meanwhile, Surjeet’s inclusion into the First Seven replacing Prince at the right-cover position is also most likely to happen.

Whether it’s current form or position in the points table or star power in the roster, the Pink outfit evidently overpowers their eastern counterparts. The Hyderabad-based franchise will have to display a strong team performance to upset the inaugural edition champions. 

Predicted Starting Seven

Telugu Titans: Siddharth Desai, Abhishek Singh, Adarsh T; Parvesh Bhainswal, Surjeet (C); Vishal Bharadwaj, Ankit Sharma 

Jaipur Pink Panthers: Arjun Deshwal, Rahul Chaudhari, Ajith Kumar; Reza Mirbagheri, Sunil Kumar (C); Ankush Rathee, Sahul Kumar