Battle of The Players or Battle of The Coaches !
After the grand opening of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 7, came the match everyone was excited for, not only for the players this time, but for the coaches too (yes, you heard us right)! Two legends of the game, Anup Kumar and Rakesh Kumar, who we all have seen leave it all out on the mats in a frenemy sort of a bond in previous seasons against each other (after achieving immense success at the international stage as teammates) were now facing off as coaches of these two very talented teams.
Match No. 6 between the Puneri Paltan and the Haryana Steelers started with a blast at the Gacchibowli Indoor Stadium, Hyderabad. Haryana, captained by Dharmaraaj Cheralathan looked like favourites against Paltan who were without the services of star raider Nitin Tomar. This clearly showed in their performance as their first half raiding was clearly lack-luster. Meanwhile, skilled youngster Naveen was tearing through their defence too. Half time score was 22-10 with Steelers up by 12.
Refusing to give up, Paltan came back into the second half trying to put pressure on Haryana by playing on the do or die raid, but poor execution on both ends of offence and defence destroyed the Paltan's appetite for a late comeback.
The Steelers eased past Paltan with final score of 34-24 with Naveen and his 12 raid points being the clear heroes of the game.
Pune always had a strong hold over the Steelers in the past !
Pune has defeated the Steelers 5 times and lost only once. Will they continue that streak today?
Anup Kumar and Rakesh Kumar start their Coaching career in Pro Kabaddi League against each other.
Puneri Paltan led by the legend Anup Kumar as Coach will start its Season against Haryana Steelers as Rakesh Kumar also debuts as a Coach.
Puneri have a strong raiding lineup with the likes of Nitin Tomar, Manjeet, Pawan Kadian, Darshan Kadian and R Sriram. Also a bunch of young guys like Sushant Sail, who we know performed really well in the games for Air India. Their defence rests on the shoulders of Girish Ernak, Surjeet Singh and Shubham Shinde.
Haryana Steelers are led by Dharmaraj Cherlathan and they have Vikash Khandola, Naveen, Prashanth Kumar Rai and Selvamani as their important pieces.