Catch all the live updates from the Pro Kabaddi 2018 match between Dabang Delhi K.C. and Gujarat Fortunegiants on News18 Sports.
Ravinder Pahal will likely be the main man in Delhi’s defence. ‘The Hawk’, as he is popularly known, secured a solid 52 tackles at a strike rate of 50 last season and will be keen to do better this year. Vishal Mane is another player who will play a key role in the back but will have to improve on his form of last season which saw his tackle strike rate drop drastically. While their attack is definitely their strength, Delhi’s defence could also be a formidable one if key players strike form early. Whether this leads to an elusive first title remains to be seen.
All-rounder Sheykh, who was Delhi’s captain till last year, was not included in the Iran side that went on to win gold in the 2018 Asian Games and will be keen to prove that he is not yet finished at the highest level of the game. However, a title winning team needs a solid defence as well; an average defence is why India couldn’t win gold in the Asian Games this time around.
A quick look at the squad they have assembled shows a side that is best suited to attacking. In Yogesh Hooda, Chandran Ranjit, Pawan Kumar Kadiyan and Thailand captain Khomsan Thongkham they have four young raiders who will all have a part to play at some point in the campaign. There’s also Shabeer Bapu and former Iran skipper Meraj Sheykh, two players who will look to prove their mettle after form in recent years has seen their respective stocks drop. Bapu was part of U Mumba last season yet didn’t make much of an impact for the side, although it is worth noting that injuries meant he wasn’t always able to give as much as he would have liked.
While kabaddi is a sport which requires different skill-sets than either cricket or football, Dabang Delhi shares the same luckless fortune that is generally associated with any sporting team out of the city. That being said, there is no time like the present for the side to overturn their fortunes and with experienced coach Krishan Kumar Hooda at the helm of things, the side stand every chance of breaking their play-off jinx.
Despite being the capital city of India, New Delhi has never had much luck when it comes to tasting glory in any of the many franchise-based leagues that operate in the nation today. The Delhi Daredevils remain without an Indian Premier League (IPL) title while the Delhi Dynamos, the city’s Indian Super League (ISL) side, have never made the finals of the tournament and finished bottom of the group table last season. Now Dabang Delhi have a chance to change that. Hello and welcome to the live blog between Dabang Delhi KC vs Gujarat Fortunegiants.
File photo of the Delhi Dabang team during a Pro-Kabaddi League match. (AP Photo)
Pro Kabaddi Season 6 has seen close contests already early in the campaign, which has added to the excitement of the fans. Tamil Thalaivas managed a comprehensive win against Patna Pirates in their opening game before losing to U.P. Yoddha in a close contest. They will want to pick themselves up quickly and get back winning momentum when they face Telugu Titans in the second match on Tuesday. The first match will see Dabang Delhi K.C. take on a young look Gujarat Fortunegiants in a battle of youth against experience. Both teams have news captains this season and it will be interesting to see what difference the change in leadership brings about in their approach.
A new look Dabang Delhi K.C. will want to take Gujarat Fortunegiants head on in the first game of their season. They have a strong defence led by captain Joginder Narwal to combat a Gujarat side that boasted of one of the best defences in the game last season. Chandran Ranjit will be playing against his Season 5 team for the first time and will want to use his knowledge of their gameplay to his advantage when he takes the mat against them. In the raiding department, Shabeer Bappu is yet to open his account against the Fortunegiants while Meraj Sheykh and Pawan Kumar Kadian, too, have scored just 7 and 11 raid points respectively against them. Having tons of experience to back them up, the unit will want to come out firing in an attempt to catch a young Gujarat team off-guard.
The Delhi defence quartet of Joginder Narwal, Vishal Mane, Ravinder Pahal and Viraj Vishnu Landge have a combined 425 tackle points amongst themselves while Gujarat’s Sunil Kumar, Parvesh Bhainswal, Hadi Oshtorak and Sachin Vittala have just 165 tackle points between them, which gives the experienced Delhi defence a huge edge. The Fortunegiants, though, rely more on the raw energy and surprise element that the youth bring which has prompted them to go with a number of young, relatively unseen players. While previous season’s Sachin, Mahendra Ganesh Rajput and Rohit Gulia still form the backbone of the offence, the addition of the 11th most successful raider of Season 5, K. Prapanjan and Do-or-Die specialist Dong Geon Lee gives the attack a good variety. Young captain Sunil Kumar, too, has a lot to prove and there is nothing like a victory to show how effective he can be as a leader.
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