Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) season six commenced in October 2018. With as many as 12 teams competing -- divided in two Zones -- we now have this edition's finalists. Gujarat Fortunegiants will lock horns with Bengaluru Bulls in a bid to claim the trophy they couldn't attain in the fifth edition and ended runners-up. The summit clash will be played at the NSCI Stadium on January 5 (Saturday).
Talking about Bengaluru, they have also succumbed to pressure when they reached the final in the 2015 edition but lost to Patna Pirates. The encounter will sum up which side is far from nailing the crucial moments in high-voltage clashes, and which one has overcome that hurdle.
Talking about Gujarat and Bengaluru's journey, both sides have been consistent and grown from strenght to strength. Gujarat won 17 out of 22 encounters in the group stages whereas Bengaluru emerged on top in 13 out of 22 matches. While Gujarat's has been a team effort, Bengaluru have been pulled up by some star performers in tight situations.
Both the sides met in the Qualifier 1, wherein Bengaluru won 41-29, and are now again meeting in the final; which depicts their impressive graph.
Going into the crucial summit clash, Gujarat will again bank on their star raider pair of K. Prapanjan and Sachin while captain Sunil Kumar and the likes of Sachin Vittala and Vikram Kandola will be in defence. The performance of the all-round pair of Hadi Oshtorak and Rohit Gulia has been impressive and will look to continue that momentum.
Bengaluru's fortunes will once again depend on Pawan Kumar Sehrawat and skipper Rohit Kumar, who were the top scorers with 13 and 11 points respectively in their previous match. While Rohit will spearhead the raiding department that also comprises the likes of Pawana and Kashiling Adake, the defence line will have the brilliance of Mahender Singh, Amit Sheoran, Ashish Kumar and Sandeep. All-rounders Jasmer Gulia and Mahesh Magdum will also need to contribute to the cause if they wish to lift the title.
What they said
Ahead of the mega final, Bengaluru coach B.C. Ramesh opined, "Gujarat has a strong defence and an equally good raiding department. We drew with them in the first match this season before winning the second game. So the focus will be on keeping the unbeaten record intact in the final," he said.
On the other hand, Gujarat's coach cautioned his side after their entry into the final with win over UP Yoddha in Qualifier 2. "UP is a great team, we had no doubt they would come hard at us in the second half. We also made a few mistakes and need to correct those if we want to lift the title on Saturday," he pointed out.
Who will it be? Will Gujarat be second time lucky or Bulls will play spoilsport for them?
About the Author
Aditya Sahay, a former cricket reporter/writer and statistician, has shifted gears to other sports (primarily badminton, tennis, kabaddi, hockey, golf etc). While cricket remains his first love, he enjoys covering and writing on kabaddi, hockey and tennis. He dons Germanys jersey during FIFA and believes Dhoni Dhoni hai, isko (aur) mauka mila toh bahut aage jayega