A young Puneri Paltan squad takes on three-time champion Patna Pirates in the first match on day 2 of the Pro Kabaddi League. From match statistics to squad news, here’s everything you need to know about the fixture.
Patna will be banking on their lead raider Sachin to spearhead their attack and continue his strong form last season which saw him amass 172 raid points, making him the pick of the raiders for Patna Pirates. He will be supported by the experienced Sukesh Hegde, who has scored 471 raid points overall in Pro Kabaddi.
Patna Pirates will also hope that the likes of Monu, Anand Tomar, and Vishwas S can make their presence felt while raiding. In defense, Patna Pirates’ skipper, Neeraj Kumar will be in charge of marshaling his troops. Neeraj Kumar scored 53 tackle points last season and was a major reason behind them boasting a tight defense. He along with Sunil, who notched up 49 tackle points last season, will shoulder the bulk of the defensive responsibility for the team. Furthermore, all-rounders like Rohit Gulia and Sajin C will add balance to the team since they can contribute in both attack and defence.
Puneri Paltan, though, will be ready for the three-time champions as they bid to make a positive start to the campaign. Aslam Inamdar, who enjoyed a fine Pro Kabaddi debut campaign with Puneri Paltan last season, will be their go-to raider. He scored 169 raid points to become the top raider for Puneri Paltan in Season 8 and demonstrated that he can also contribute defensively with 20 tackle points. Inamdar will have the likes of Mohit Goyat and Pankaj Mohite to support him in the attack. Mohit Goyat, in particular, could have a big role to play if his 159 raid points and 28 tackle points in Season 8 are anything to go by. Defensively, Puneri Paltan has the likes of Sombir, Abinesh Nadarajan, and Sanket Sawant within their ranks. While Sombir scored 60 tackle points in Season 8, Abinesh Nadarajan and Sanket Sawant notched up 44 and 26 tackle points respectively.
Check out our interview with Aslam Inamdar from last season
HEAD-TO-HEAD | Matches: 17 | Patna: 13 | Puneri: 2 | Tie: 2
Mohammadreza Chiyaneh (Patna Pirates) is just 11 tackle points away from 100 career tackle points.
BIG TALKING POINT: WHERE ARE THE IRANIANS?
13 Iranian players including marquee kabaddi stars like Fazel Atrachali, Mohammad Esmail Nabibakhsh, and Mohammadreza Chiyaneh Shadloui are yet to arrive in India for the ninth season of PKL. Reports suggest that the delay is to visa issues arising from the unrest in Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody for not wearing a hijab.
Pune and Patna are the teams worst hit. Pune spent over 2 CR in roping Fazel and Nabibakhsh into the team. How Pune adapts will be interesting to watch. Patna’s defense eventually rallied around Chiyaneh last season and he became a vital cog in the team. His absence will dent their defence.
Bengal Warriors - Soleiman Pahlevani
Dabang Delhi - Reza Katoulinezhad
Haryana Steelers - Amirhossein Bastami, Mohammad Maghsoudlou
Jaipur Pink Panthers - Reza Mirbagheri
Patna Pirates - Mohammadreza Shadloui
Puneri Paltan - Fazel Atrachali, Mohammad Nabibakhsh
Telugu Titans - Hamid Nader, Mohsen Jafari
U Mumba - Heidarali Ekrami, Gholamabbas Korouki
UP Yoddha - Abozar Mighani
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Puneri Paltan: Aslam Inamdar
Patna Pirates: Sachin Tanwar
Where can you watch Patna Pirates vs Puneri Paltan PKL 9?
Pro Kabaddi Season 9 will be telecast live on the Star Sports Network and Disney+ Hotstar from 7:30 PM onwards on Friday.
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