Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], January 14 (ANI): The third Triple Panga of Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 will feature three exciting clashes starting with Haryana Steelers' showdown with Dabang Delhi KC.
Delhi have looked a disjointed unit in the absence of their star raider Naveen Kumar and will need to organise their defence against the impressive raiding trio of Haryana.
The second match will see in-form UP Yoddha take on struggling Telugu Titans. The Yoddha defence has looked strong in their recent outings and will fancy their chances against the winless Titans. U Mumba will lock horns with defending champions Bengal Warriors in the final match of the night.
Mumbai are desperately seeking inspiration with raider V Ajith Kumar injured and will hope their experienced defence step up against Warriors' Maninder Singh. All three matches will be held at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, Bengaluru.
Naveen Kumar might recover from his injury in time for Delhi's match against neighbours Haryana. But it is important that Delhi develops a Plan B that can be executed when Naveen is off the mat. Their experienced defenders such as Jeeva Kumar and Manjeet Chhillar have given away far too many points while the likes of Ajay Thakur and Vijay have struggled with the raids.
Delhi's strategy of hoping Naveen will outscore the opposition got severely exposed against the Bengaluru Bulls. The Steelers will draw confidence from that result especially after the comeback they produced in their previous outing to clinch a tie against UP Yoddha.
Vikash Kandola had a brilliant second half against Yoddha while young Meetu has shown glimpses of his immense potential. Together they will need to take the attack to Delhi's defenders from the starting whistle. Haryana's defensive duo of Jaideep and Surender Nada should also be on their toes to not allow Delhi a chance to counter.
Injuries to Siddharth Desai and Rohit Kumar have hampered Telugu Titans' Season 8 plans. Rajnish and Ankit Beniwal have been good in patches for the Titans but haven't been able to convert those performances to wins for the team. They will be up against a strong UP Yoddha who are making a comeback after a slow start to the campaign.
The established cover duo of Sumit and Nitesh Kumar is slowly looking dangerous while Shrikant Jadhav and Surender Gill have combined well in attack. Pardeep Narwal has also started showing signs that he will soon be his very best for his new side. The match will be decided by how well the Titans' defence handles the Yoddha attack.
U Mumba have looked confused without their injured raider Ajith Kumar. Abhishek Singh has struggled to shoulder the raiding responsibilities while captain Fazel Atrachali has been hesitant to make the tackles. Without Ajith, it is clear that U Mumba's best shot at winning the match will be through their defence.
Fazel and Rinku in the corners should be allowed to go for the tackle even if there will be a few mistakes. And the covers should be told to be ready for the corners to make their moves.
In Maninder Singh, they face an incredibly strong raider who won't be easy to tackle. But if they do, Bengal will have very little to offer in attack. Mohammad Nabibakhsh hasn't looked his usual best while Akash Pikalmunde will need more time on the mat to find his rhythm.
But Bengal impressed in their defence with Ran Singh back after a long injury layoff. His confidence seemed to have rubbed off on right corner Abozar Mighani as well. The defending champions will need to ensure there are no slip-ups against a Mumbai side to ensure they stay on track for a playoff spot by the end of the season. (ANI)