Pune outfit faces runner-up of Season 5 Gujarat Fortunegiants in their first match at Balewadi Sports Complex
Pune: Two wins, one loss and one draw – that’s how Puneri Paltan has so far performed in Pro Kabaddi Season 6. With the third leg commencing at the Balewadi Sports Complex here on Thursday, the home team will look to win maximum matches.
“Pressure is definitely there when you are playing in the front of home crowd. It is the completely different atmosphere and there are a lot of expectations so best is to play freely and win more matches as you can,” captain Girish Ernak told Sakal Times on the eve of their match against Gujarat Fortunegiants.
In the first two legs – home teams Tamil Thalaivas and Haryana Steelers failed to deliver knockout punch as after winning their first match they kept lost later matches.
Thalaivas lost five matches on the trot, while Haryana, after winning against Patna Pirates they went down in three straight matches.
“Performing at home is tough and when you are playing six matches back to back you have to be cautious about the injuries. One good part of our team is we have able second-string players so I am confident about team’s preparation,” explained Pune team coach Ashan Kumar.
In 2017, Pune had a decent show at home leg—winning 3 and losing 3 matches. On the other hand Gujarat Fortunegiants was the most successful team at home winning 5 out of six matches.
For Pune, experienced players like Nitin Tomar has led from the front in the first four matches and lot more is expected from him in next seven days.
“I am feeling much better than last season. Our preparations are on track and now I want to keep on delivering good performance in the home leg,” said Nitin Tomar, who has 41 raids in the last four matches.
Along with Nitin, Pune team has got good support from the raiders like GB More, Deepak Dahiya and Akshay Jadhav. In defence, Girish is the vital cog for Pune team and he has so far scored 16 tackle points in last four outings.
“My form is good, other defenders are also doing a good job. I hope we keep on improving our performance and deliver good results,” added Girish.
Opponent Gujarat is yet to open their account as they drew their first contest against Dabang Delhi KC and lost the second to Haryana Steelers.