Pro Kabaddi 2019 Playoffs : As we get ready to scrimmage through the final week of the league stage encounters in the league, the final spot sees two teams go at loggerheads
Even before the ongoing edition of the Pro Kabaddi League 7 took shape, this was built as a season when the competition for a slot in the top 6 of the showpiece league was going to be stringier and tougher than ever. A rejig of the format, one which brought all the 12 partaking sides under the umbrella of a singular league was set to see each side needing to spare no expense in a bid to make it into the ensuing round.
And it’s traversed in akin fashion with the matches being contested over the course of the last 2 months a testament to the riveting brand of kabaddi which has seen this league become the biggest and most coveted league in the fraternity. All the sides have been asked to show immense fortitude and indulge in engrossing and exhilarating encounters with the clamour for a spot in the ensuing round only increasing as we approach the business end of the league stage matches
With just a week left in the slated encounters in the league with the singular home leg of U.P. Yoddha remaining, we have been made familiar with the identity of five of the 6 sides to seal their berth in qualifiers of PKL 7. With Dabang Delhi K.C., Haryana Steelers, Warriors, U Mumba and Bengaluru Bulls all ascertaining themselves of a spot in the next round, we are left with just the one position to fulfil, a spot four sides are avidly fighting it out for.
Ahead of the culminating week, we pour over who out of those sides looks overwhelming favourites to make it to the proceeding stage, their next set of fixtures and how the narrative could unravel for them in the coming time.
U.P. Yoddha, Sixth Place
Points: 58, 10 Wins 2 Draws 6 Losses
The brought in Monu Goyat as their most expensive player for the season underway but with the raider failing to cover himself in glory for the second season on a bounce, U.P. Yoddha ended up facing the ramifications of his floundering form. The defence faltered in tandem, seeing the side go on a horrid run to find themselves languishing in the trenches of the league standings after the first half of the season.
However ever since then, the side have been reinvigorated, imbedding a spree of season which is reminiscent of the bygone season. They ended up picking a staggering 31 points in their previous 7 clashes with their raiding and defensive facets intertwining their skill set in unison to emerge as a side which went from a tepid outfit to one of the firm favourites for the glistening title.
What has worked in their favour is a complete performance, one which has seen all their players make amends for a chastening opening half of the season. There has been no reliability or dependability on individual performers with the entire team encapsulating its skill set in tandem to show its true mettle to mull sides and imbed tenacious performances.
What works massively in their favour as we get ready to rummage through to the final stage of the home leg clashes is the fact that the side are finally moving to the solace of their home conditions. Buoyed by a rampant, rousing and raucous supporter base, the side carry immense momentum into this leg, one which sees them perched in solid position of consolidating on the spot they occupy currently.
Jaipur Pink Panthers, Seventh Place
Points: 52, Wins 8 Draws 2 Losses 10
Where U.P. Yoddha have hit the annuls of their game at the right time, Jaipur Pink Panthers have unravelled at the wrong time. From challenging Delhi for first place after the first month of the marquee league, Jaipur’s slump in form makes for adverse and appalling viewing with callous displays seeing the side crumble and go on a never ending downward spiral.
Left in dismay owing to their appalling form, the side have failed to galvanise their season with defeats entrapping them in a never ending spree of floundering results. Inconsistencies have been the biggest reason for the sides flailing, seeing them wane and unravel with atrocious displays and over dependence on individual players pegging the side back in their quest of making it to the top.
After defeating Patna Pirates, the side fell to a shambolic defeat against Telegu Titans, a result which sees them in a peril as they get ready to bring an end to their home leg. With just the one win in their home stadium, the side have failed to capitalise on the ardent backing of ther supporters to be pushed back 6 points behind U.P. Yoddha along with having played the one additional match as well.
Where U.P. Yoddha have been a well rounded unit, Jaipur’s biggest angst has been leaving their defence to Sandep Kumar Dhull and raiding to Deepak Niwas Hooda. Its put them in an ordeal, one which seeks their chances of making it to the next round extremely bleak but which a glimmer of light still shining upon them, two straight wins could act as just the impetuous to make it to the qualifiers.