Paltan confident of good show

The Pune outfit takes on Titans in the PKL IV opener.

Puneri Paltan captain Manjeet Chillar during a press conference of the Pro Kabaddi League in Mumbai on Friday.   -  PTI

Puneri Paltan plans to improve on its third-place finish in Star Sports-Pro Kabaddi League. Though hit by a change in venue for technical reasons, the team is taking the unexpected developments in its stride ahead of the fourth season opener against Telugu Titans on Saturday night.

Paltan moved from its home base at the Balewadi Sports Complex to NSCI in Worli which is also U Mumba’s home stadium.

Chief mentor Ashok Shinde and coach Kasinathan Baskaran sounded confident about the quality of talent at their disposal. Captain Manjeet Chillar said his team would eye a place in the final this time.

Chillar touched upon the abundance of raiders in the team this time. “Four raiders instead of two increases our attack options,” he said.

Ajay Thakur and Deepak Hooda are prominent raiders and Nitin Tomar is the ace in the pack.

Baskaran said: “We have the strongest team on paper. Preparations were excellent. It is now time to perform.”

Shinde said: “Teams are on a par this time, and coaches have chosen players as per requirements. No side can claim to be superior or can be sure of winning.”

Paltans will play U Mumba, Patna Pirates and Dabang Delhi in back-to-back matches over the next three days.

Kailash Kandpal, team manager, revealed that team fans from Pune are ready to travel to the NSCI for four ‘home’ games.

“The stadium will be orange like in Balewadi. We are arranging buses for the fans,” Kandpal said.

The second tie on Saturday night will feature U Mumba taking on Jaipur Pink Panthers, in a contest between two former PKL winners.