CHENNAI: Patna Pirates have made a habit of jumping into the storm first and then rallying back to cross the victory line.
This has been their strategy till now which has helped them to secure a berth in Qualifier 2 where they will face Bengal Warriors at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium on Thursday in Chennai.
The winners will meet Gujarat Fortunegiants in the final on Saturday at the same venue.
On papers, Patna Pirates may look favourites to win the contest with captain Pardeep Narwal’s red-hot form but their poor defence is a concern. The Kolkata based team has raiders like Maninder Singh, Jang Kun Lee, Deepak Narwal, and the trio can turn the tide into Bengal’s favour if they have a good day on the mat.
In the previous meetings of Season 5, Bengal Warriors and Patna Pirates met thrice, where Bengal won in Kolkata while in Mumbai and Ranchi both the teams shared three points each.
Patna Pirates who defeated Puneri Paltan with the score reading 42-32 on Tuesday will again depend on Pardeep Narwal and Monu Goyat who will take most of the responsibility.
“Pardeep and Monu will be the key. If our defence at least supports them 40 percent, then we can surely be in the final of Season 5,” said Ram Mehar Singh coach of Patna Pirates.
Bengal is coming from a 42-17 thrashing received by Gujarat Fortunegiants in Qualifier 1.
“Nothing went right for us today. I ensure that in our next encounter we will not repeat any mistakes and will give our very best to get the place in the final,” said Jagdish Kumble Bengal Warriors coach.
SURJEET KEY FOR BENGAL
Captain and defender Surjeet Singh of Bengal Warriors will have to stand tall, if his team wants to control star raiders Pardeep and Monu. Surjeet who plays from ‘Right cover’ has 70 successful tackle points on his name from the total of 138 attempted tackles in 23 matches.
“Our captain was out of the mat for most of the time that’s why we cannot control the game against Gujarat. In the coming match Surjeet will definitely come out with a good performance for our team,” added the Bengal coach.
Like Surjeet there are not any well-known names in Patna Pirates defence. Jaipdeep has impressed all from ‘left corner’ but he has not found any able support on the mat.
Jaideep has collected 59 tackle points from 140 tackles in 24 matches of Season 5 till date.