PKL: Attack vs Defence as Pirates takes on FortuneGiants in final

Pro Kabadi League season five's best attacking team, Patna Pirates, takes on the best defensive unit, Gujarat FortuneGiants, in Saturday's final at Chennai's Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor stadium.

Gujarat FortuneGiant's captain Fazel Atrachali (left) and Patna Pirates skipper Pardeep Narwal with the PKL Trophy on the eve of the final.   -  PTI

Two-time ProKabaddi League champion Patna Pirates takes on first-timer Gujarat FortuneGiants in the final of the fifth edition of the PKL at Chennai's Nehru Indoor stadium on Saturday evening.

The Gujarat side has enjoyed a three-day break after its 42-17 hammering of the Bengal Warriors  n the first qualifier and is a well-rested side heading into the title-deciding clash.

Pirates, however, has played three games in the last four days and survived a late scare in Thursday's eliminator to defeat Bengal Warriors 47-44 and scrape through to the final.

Gujarat's defence vs Patna's attack

FortuneGiants boasts the strongest defence in the league, proof of which is the fact that it has conceded all of 586 points in 23 games. The Iranian pair of Fazel Atrachali and Abozar Mighani — the pillars of Gujarat's defence — have staged top-notch performances to score 121 tackle points among themselves.

Its raiding department is headed by the young Sachin Tawar, who has scored an impressive 162 points in his very first PKL outing.

READ: There is something in the name Sachin!

With captain Sukesh Hegde supposedly injured, Atrachalli will lead Gujarat's charge on Saturday.

In stark contrast, Patna Pirates features the strongest raiding department and the weakest defence in the PKL. The phenomenal Pardeep Narwal has shattered records aplenty, scoring a record 350 points this season alone.

However, its defence remains to be its Achilles heel, to say the least. Jaideep remains the side's only defender to have scored more than 40 tackle points.

The side's defensive inadequacies were on display in its eliminator clash against Bengal Warriors, where it enjoyed a comfortable 10-plus point lead, only for the defence to suffer a terrible lapse in the last few minutes and scour a win with a narrow three-point margin.

For a side that has conceded the most number of points in the season — a whopping 883 points — the final is the best platform for the defence to get its act together. 

From captain to coach

What's interesting to note is that Gujarat's coach, Manpreet Singh, had captained the Patna Pirates to PKL glory in the third edition. He will now look to bring his experience to the mat, albeit away from the playing arena, as he aims for similar success in his just-launched PKL coaching career.

History in the offing

The Patna Pirates will look to make history by winning the PKL for the third straight time. Its only hurdle, other than its opponent, is its ailing defence, which has to hold fort and support Pardeep, to have a realistic shot at the title.

FortuneGiants, though, has no such pressure and will look to finish a successful debut season with a bang, with the PKL trophy in hand.

It remains to be seen whether the Pirates clinch the PKL trophy for the third time or if Gujarat's fortune prevails.

Fans attending the Pro Kabaddi League final in Chennai have help on hand if they have trouble finding their seats. HexOctane, a Bengaluru-based company, has developed proximity technology that is available to users of the Vivo Pro Kabaddi official app.

Users' arrival at the venue will be detected, and they will be guided to their seats right from the entrance. The app will also engage with fans, providing them information on teams and players.

"We have previously deployed our technology at the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup and the IPL," said Jhenkar Dixit, HexOctane's founder and CEO.

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