Get Siddharth Desia and you have the Telugu Titans. This is the message that is going to be ringing around the entire Pro Kabaddi League.
U Mumba showed it is possible to stop Siddharth Desai as they formed a brilliant defensive plan around him. The lack of a second quality raider showed up in the opening match itself since Rajnish is still a work in progress. Farhad Milagharden is also a defender primarily that is being forced to play on the offense because of a lack of options.
The Telugu Titans must find a way to take the pressure of Siddharth Desai and allow him to play freely. He was scoreless for his first 7 raids and even seemed unaware of the fact that he was on a Do or Die raid at one point.
The defensive unit of Vishal Bhardwaj and Abozar Mohajermighani patrolled the corners well but the cover defenders were nervous and kept on giving up easy points.
There seem to be a lot of holes in the Telugu Titans defense at the moment and there needs to be a special performance from Siddharth Desai to be able to turn things around. The one positive that he will be focussing on is that the Tamil Thalaivas do not have a defense nearly as strong as what U Mumba had.
One of the sides that made a huge splash during the auction was Tamil Thalaivas. They managed to get the stunning Rahul Chaudhari on their side to partner Ajay Thakur and set up one of the most compelling raiding duos this season.
Ajay Thakur had a phenomenal season last year but his side won the last matches in the entire tournament. This shows the importance of having a strong all-round unit and not just one or two stars.
We will be quite interested to see how Rahul Chaudhari adapts to playing alongside another raider that is used to commanding the important moments in the game. Both Ajay Thakur and Rahul Chaudhari will have to set aside some amount of personal ambition to work for the better of the team.
The defense has also got an upgrade thanks to the addition of Ran Singh who was let go by the Bengal Warriors.
His partnership with Mohit Chillar is going to be very important for the success of the Tamil Thalaivas. Both these players are acclaimed as two of the best defenders going around and are no less important than the raiding duo for the Tamil Thalaivas.
We like the team that the Tamil Thalaivas have put together and think they definitely have the potential to make the top-6 and reach the playoffs.
<h3> Dream11 team for Telugu Titans vs Tamil Thalaivas
There are clearly more vaunted players in the Tamil Thalaivas but fitting them all in one Dream11 team is not going to be easy. We must also consider seriously whether Siddharth Desai is worth his price in the current form and with a potential injury cloud hanging over his head.
Defenders: We have picked Vishal Bharadwaj and Krushna Madane as the two defenders. Vishal is an elite defender while Madane seems to be the substitute of choice whenever the Telugu Titans are in a tight spot.
All-rounders: We have Farhad Milaghardan and Ran Singh as the two all-rounders. Manjeet CHillar is also a compelling option but with two frontline raiders, he may function primarily as a defender this season.
Raiders: We have picked Rajnish, Ajay Thakur, and Rahul Chaudhari as our three raiders. Not picking Siddharth Desai may be a risk but we don’t think he is fully fit right now and is likely to keep on under-performing.
• Vishal Bharadwaj
• Krushna Madane
• Farhad Milagharden
• Ran Singh
• Ajay Thakur
• Rahul Chaudhari
Ajay Thakur scored more than 200 raid points in the previous PKL season but was able to get only 5 wins for his side overall. Rajnish was the best raider for the Telugu Titans in the opening game with 7 raid points while no defender from the Telugu Titans could get more than 2 tackle points to his name.
We are surprised to see Siddharth Desai struggle in the opening game and worry about his effectiveness. He has recovered from a shoulder injury and may not be in perfect playing condition right now.
We think the Tamil Thalaivas have a better-balanced side and should be able to win.
Bet on the Tamil Thalaivas to win.