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The first chapter of the last triple panga of the season.
Bengaluru Bulls will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: Gachibowli Indoor Stadium, Hyderabad.Bet Now
All the qualifications are over as we enter the last day of the double round-robin league which culminates with a triple panga. The first of the panga will be between former champions who have gone through contrasting experiences in the season.
The Bengaluru Bulls were consistent and they qualified for the playoff after winning 13 out of their 21 matches. They will face the eliminators as they finished 3rd in the points table and will take on the team placed 6th.
U Mumba did show some promise but faded out quickly. They could not garner enough victories through the season as they ended 10th in the points table. But the die-hard Mumba fans would love to see the last hurrah from their team. Both teams will enter the mat solely to entertain their fans. This bout could see a lot of untested players getting chances. The Bulls would also work towards sharpening their edge as they will play the eliminator in Mumbai. U Mumba will look for a final flourish for the season.
Former champions executed everything they had planned at the beginning of the season. They forged the best trio of raiders with young Bharat Hooda leading the pack.
Bharat Hooda- 257 raid points from 204 successful raids.
Vikash Kandola- 111 raid points in 21 matches.
Neeraj Narwal- 87 raid points in the season.
The Bulls have a dangerous pack of defenders who have been lethal.
Saurabh Nandal has executed 58 successful tackles.
Aman and Mahendra Singh have collectively conducted 84 successful tackles.
This makes the Bulls an all-round unit capable of demolishing any opposition. They have won 13 out of their 21 matches with a TIE in another game. The Bulls have won 3 out of their last 5 matches and look well-equipped to take on U Mumba. Their biggest strength is the tactical brilliance of their coach Randhir Singh. He has utilized all these resources effectively to get the Bulls to the next round.
The Bulls started the season with a win over the Telegu Titans and consolidated with another win over the Puneri Paltan in a close game. But they were undone by the Bengal Warriors in their next match which they lost by 9 points. A “Full Charged Maddi” Bulls team is very dangerous as they can thrash any opposition on a given day. Bengaluru Bulls have always had superstars in their lineup, be it Rohit Kumar or Pawan Sehrawat. But this season they have come up with a new “mantra”, one for all and all for one. Without any top stars, the Bulls have pulled off some amazing victories.
The Bulls will meet U Mumba for the second time this season. They defeated them convincingly by a margin of 10 points in their last encounter. But Mumba has always dominated the Bulls overall in the PKL. The Bulls have been able to win just 5 out of their 17 encounters. But this season the Bulls have been unstoppable as they get ready for a final triumph at Hyderabad.
U Mumba could not fulfill its dream this season. They displayed grit and courage in most of their matches but could not gather momentum. With a limited set of players, Mumba tried to extract a lot more. They started off slowly but mid-season they looked extremely dangerous. They are placed 10th in the points table after playing 21 matches.
Mumba was quite erratic in the first few matches. They tried out too many players and could not forge a stable combination. They gave away a lot of points due to unforced errors as their defense was brittle. Captain Surender Singh and Harender Kumar could not recreate the magic in the defense.
A new look Mumba has walked the tough path for many years. They have a new team without the legendary Fazel Attrachli and they have a young coach in the form of Anil Chaprana. This season has been a case of retracing your roots and cultivating a new brand of kabaddi.
Mumba got thrashed by Dabang Delhi in their opener but won their next 2 games. This gave them hope and self-belief. Young raiders like Ghuman, Jai Bhagwan, and Ashish excelled on the mat. U Mumba displayed significant weaknesses in the later part of the season. They became a moody side with sensational performances on some days but otherwise lacked intensity. These mood swings have affected their position in the points table. The major concern was the sudden drop in raid earnings. Raiders Ghuman Singh, Ashish, and Jai Bhagwan were impressive but not ruthless.
Overall Mumba has conducted 280 successful team raids in 21 matches which is the lowest among all the teams.
But they have executed 201 successful team tackles which helped them win quite a few matches mid-season.
U Mumba also won 73 Do-or-Die raid points as they stuck with the empty raid strategy in the initial part of the tournament. They did inflict 22 all-outs in 21 matches but conceded 27. This affected them a great deal in the latter half of the season. But Mumba will play for pride as they enter the arena for the last time in season 9.
The first of the triple panga will be an entertaining one. U Mumba has nothing to lose as they are out of the tournament. The Bulls will treat this match as a dress rehearsal for the eliminator. They will try and utilize their reserves but at the same time, they will give enough time to their regulars so that they remain fresh.
U Mumba may try out a lot of youngsters like Vishal Mane, Satyanwan and Iranian Koorouki. They will be aggressive from the first raid in order to push the Bulls on the backfoot. Raider Pranay Rane will be effective while raider Kamlesh may also get a chance in the starting 7.
The Bengaluru Bulls will start with their regulars and expect them to take a big lead by half-time. They will then utilize some of their reserves in the second half. Though the Bulls defeated U Mumba in their first match of the season, they will be wary of Mumba who can be quite unpredictable.
Bengaluru Bulls will win.
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