Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], January 19 (ANI): Tamil Thalaivas will lock horns with Gujarat Giants on Thursday in Pro Kabaddi League Season 8.
The Thalaivas have had a solid start to the season despite the recent setbacks and will play the Giants team yet to find its perfect balance.
The second game of the night will see Season 8's first reverse fixture as Bengaluru Bulls take on Patna Pirates. The Pirates dominated in their first meeting, but Pawan Sehrawat and his Bulls will be keen on settling the scores.
Thalaivas' defence has been in great form throughout the season with captain Surjeet Singh and Sagar impressing. But with Manjeet fading in the last two matches, Thalaivas need to find more energy for their raids. Ajinkya Pawar and Bhawani Rajput will need to shoulder more responsibilities especially if K Prapanjan fails to recover from a shoulder injury.
Giants' star-studded defence seems to be finally coming into form despite missing Ravinder Pahal due to a knee injury. Parvesh Bhainswal, Sunil and Girish Ernak looked confident against U Mumba in their previous outing and will fancy their chances against a jaded Tamil raiding unit.
Ajay Kumar had a strong outing against Mumbai which might convince coach Manpreet to give the all-rounder a bigger role against Thalaivas. Rakesh S will once again be their lead raider as Gujarat desperately try to jump into the top half of the points table.
Patna's success in the teams' first meeting of Season 8 was completely down to their defence. Corner defenders Sunil and Mohammadreza Shadloui had an excellent outing and prevented Pawan Sehrawat from scoring a single point in the second half.
But Patna have not been able to replicate the same form since that night which will give Bulls a lot of confidence. If Pawan gets a continued period of more than 10 minutes on the mat, he will take the game away from the opponents.
So, Patna will have to continue the aggressive approach. Pawan and the Bulls should look for a safer option and get the secondary raiders more involved.
In Bharat, Chandran Ranjit and Deepak Narwal, the Bulls have enough raiding power to break the Patna defensive structure. Sunil and Sajin C might be absent from the line-up due to injuries which will make Patna's right susceptible to attacks. (ANI)