Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], January 18 (ANI): Haryana Steelers will take on Puneri Paltan in the opening match of Wednesday in Pro Kabaddi League Season 8.
Both, the Steelers and Paltan, coached by kabaddi stalwarts Rakesh Kumar and Anup Kumar respectively, have had a mixed start to the tournament but will go into match confident of their chances.
The second game of the night will see Jaipur Pink Panthers lock horns with a struggling Telugu Titans. The South Indian team are yet to register a win in Season 8 despite good performances from their raiders. The matches will be held at the Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, Bengaluru.
The first match of the night will most likely be decided on which raiding unit performs best. Aslam Inamdar, Mohit Goyat and Nitin Tomar have been excellent for the Pune team this season. Both, Aslam and Mohit, picked up Super 10s despite the team's defeat against U.P. Yoddha while Nitin Tomar's experience has been a big boost for a largely young squad.
Pune have faltered in the defence though with their coveted corner combination of Baldev Singh and Vishal Bhardwaj struggling. The Paltan defence conceded 50 points in their previous outing and will be a big cause of worry for coach Anup Kumar. He might bench Sanket Sawant after a horrid time in the cover position.
Despite having a wealth of raiders at their disposal, Haryana are yet to produce a high-scoring game. Vikash Kandola and Meetu have moved well on the mat, but coach Rakesh Kumar will be hoping either one can produce a 15-point performance to take the game completely away from the opponents. Luckily for them, both Surender Nada and Jaideep have marshalled the defence well this season.
Jaipur Pink Panthers are on a 4-match unbeaten run, and they will be looking to extend that against a winless Telugu Titans. Deepak Hooda and Arjun Deshwal have begun the season in red-hot form while Sahul Kumar and Sandeep Dhull have looked calm in defence. The season 1 champions will need to nullify Titans' Rajnish if they are to clinch a win. Rajnish has been the only consistent raider for the Titans this season in the absence of Siddharth Desai.
Captain Rohit Kumar's poor form saw him miss out of the squad in Titan's previous match. Their defence didn't perform too badly against the Bengal Warriors with Sandeep Kandola looking his best again. The morale will be low in the Titans camp but a win against Jaipur can certainly change the fortunes for the South Indian team. (ANI)