Puneri Paltan will take on Tamil Thalaivas without two of their best raiders Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat. The duo is yet to recover fully from their injuries and will sit out the all-important semifinal against Ashan Kumar’s Thalaivas.
Mohit and Aslam are nursing injuries to the ankle and knee and sat out the last few fixtures the team played in the league stage once their place in the top two was confirmed.
Aslam (138 raid points) and Mohit (120 raid points) are part of a three-pronged raiding unit - along with Akash Shinde (131 raid points) in the Paltan setup that has been one of the most coordinated and consistent in the league. No other franchise has three raiders who have scored more than 100 points in one season.
In their absence, Paltan will look to Akash, Aditya Shinde, who showed promise in the Paltan’s last match against UP Yoddhas, Pankaj Mohite and all-rounder Mohammad Nabibakhsh. The bench strength which Pune possesses will be what the Paltan banks on in this game.
Pune’s defence will also have to step up in the absence of Aslam and Mohit. Mohit has been crucial to the defence too, participating in tackles too alongside his raiding exploits. Fazel Atrachali has not been too aggressive in defence in that left corner, choosing a more risk-free approach presumably to preserve his body for the knockouts. Onus will be on him, Sanket Sawant and Sombir to keep the Thalaivas youth quiet.
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