The Patna Pirates have lost just one match in the last five matches they have played. They lost their last match and tied the one previous to that against the Tamil Thalaivas. A run of victories preceded that and led to their rise to the second place in Zone B standings.
This run of victories could not have come for a better time for the Patna Pirates. Not only have they managed to put some distance between themselves and the trailing pack but they have also managed to come close to the Bengaluru Bulls.
The man responsible for this change in fortune for the Patna Pirates after a poor start to the PKL has been Pardeep Narwal. The reigning MVP of the Pro Kabaddi League has been racking up the raid points with ease.
He is third in the list of best raiders with 158 points to his name and is averaging more than Super-10 in every game. That is just phenomenal from the experienced raider. He is showing that he can hold his own even as an influx of talented raiders fills the PKL.
Pardeep Narwal will be the tip of the spear for the Patna Pirates while Jaideep will be the shield. Jaideep has 49 tackle points this season and has been a dependable force for the Patna Pirates. He will know that Puneri Paltan is going to under pressure without the presence of Nitin Tomar in the side and so there will be plenty of opportunities to pick off nervous raiders.
It looks at this moment like Puneri Paltan’s campaign has gone off the rails. They have won just one out their last seven matches and that too came thanks to a truly unbelievable comeback. Puneri Paltan has not been able to play good, high percentage Kabaddi and rack up the wins.
That should be a major concern.
Puneri Paltan is handicapped by the absence of Nitin Tomar but More GB has risen to the occasion. The problem for Pune seems to be the lack of other viable scoring options after More GB. Sandeep Narwal has expanded his role as an all-rounder but it is defense where he is truly dangerous.
We suspect that Sandeep Narwal will have to dome something remarkable once again to help get Puneri Paltan the win in this match.
The Patna Pirates absolutely dominate the head to head between the two sides. They have won 9 out of the twelve matches played, tied two and lost just one. This kind of dominance is certain to leave a mark.
The Patna Pirates suffered a setback in their last game. Pardeep Narwal was a bit off-color and they were unable to come to terms with a solid defense as put up by the Gujarat Fortunegiants. Puneri Paltan is nowhere near that kind of a defensive force.
Puneri Paltan is also suffering from the lack of their best raider and that is why points scoring has been a task too. We are sticking with the Pirates in this one.
Back the Patna Pirates to win.