This week’s Triple Panga of the vivo Pro Kabaddi League season 8 will feature three high-voltage clashes on Saturday (08 January). In-form Dabang Delhi K.C. will start the proceedings against U.P. Yoddha which will be followed by U Mumba’s duel against Telugu Titans. The final match of the night will see Gujarat Giants take on Patna Pirates. All three games will be held at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, Bengaluru.
Past vs present
All eyes will once again be on Delhi’s star raider Naveen Kumar when Dabang take on U.P. Yoddha. Naveen has Super 10s in all his matches so far (with a total of 108 points) but he will be up against legendary raider and idol Pardeep Narwal.
“Record-breaker” Pardeep Narwal has had a poor start to his Season 8, failing to justify the 1.65 crores Yoddha spent to sign him at the auctions. In fact, Surender Gill has been the lead raider for the team from UP, clinching important raid points with his lanky body and clever mind.
If U.P. Yoddha are to stop Delhi, they will need their defensive duo of Sumit and Nitesh Kumar to click. The two seasoned athletes have looked sub-par this season, but Kabaddi is a game of surprises. Delhi’s defence has also looked error-prone despite their unbeaten run and U.P. Yoddha will be hoping Pardeep Narwal can turn back the clock with a raiding masterclass.
Rajnish vs Fazel
Siddharth Desai might be missing for Telugu Titans but in Rajnish they have unearthed a raider who can more than compensate for the absence. The raider was exceptional against Delhi, scoring 20, and exposing the weakness in Season 7 finalists’ defence. With Ankit Beniwal also in form, Telugu Titans will fancy their chances against a strong U Mumba side.
However, Mumbai captain Fazel Atrachali isn’t known to back away from a challenge and he would have already devised a strategy to stop the Telugu raider. A lot will depend on how focused Rinku in the right corner will be when Rajnish targets the left side of the mat. Mumbai’s raiding duo of Abhishek Singh and Ajith Kumar will also be hoping to rediscover lost form against the Titans. Abhishek Singh has looked jaded in the last few matches which could mean more time on the mat for all-rounder Ajinkya Kapre.
Patna Pirates might not have star names in the line-up but what they have in their favour is a team willing to do everything for the win. Raiders Monu Goyat and Sachin have also contributed strongly in the defence while the likes of Mohammadreza Shadloui Chiyaneh and Neeraj Kumar have stepped up in defence. Sajin C had a day to forget in the tie against Tamil Thalaivas and he might be the target for Gujarat’s in-form raider Rakesh Sangroya.
Rakesh has been the sole shining light in a Gujarat team filled with stars. Their much-heralded defensive line has faltered consistently which will have coach Manpreet Singh scratching his head for inspiration. Right corner Ravinder Pahal picked an injury to his knee in Gujarat’s previous match which could lead to an altered lineup.
Tune In details (08/01/2022)
7:30 PM: U.P. Yoddha vs Dabang Delhi K.C.
8:30 PM: U Mumba vs Telugu Titans
9:30 PM: Gujarat Giants vs Patna Pirates
All matches can be watched on Star Sports Network and Disney+ Hotstar