Tough road ahead for Bengaluru

Randhir Singh

Defending champions Bengaluru Bulls have a tough road ahead as they seek to repeat the last year's heroics in the season 7 of the Pro Kabaddi League.

Bengaluru, with seven wins and six losses, are placed fourth on the table with 38 points after 13 games, but Jaipur Pink Panthers, who have a played a game less and just a point behind, are breathing down their neck. U Mumba too are not far behind, with 34 points from 12 matches.

Dabang Delhi KC top the charts with 49 points from 11 games, followed by Haryana Steelers (41 points and Bengal Warriors (40 points) in the second and third positions respectively.

"It is turning out to be a thrilling season," said Bengaluru coach Randhir Singh at a press conference here on Tuesday.

"It's unpredictable. Nobody knows who's going to the final. The upcoming games will be exciting. If you leave the top-placed teams, the gap between the other sides are not more than one or two points." 

Coach Randhir is pleased with the defensive show and is eager to build on it. "The first target is to reach the playoffs. For that, we'll have to start playing with more intensity. Our defence is doing really well, and I hope they continue to do the same for the rest of the season," he said.

But he can't say the same for their attack, with raider Rohit Kumar struggling to find his touch. "Rohit is not performing to the expectations. If he clicks, we'll definitely have a chance and we'll challenge for the title," said Randhir.

On Wednesday, Bengaluru will play their last home game against bottom-placed Patna Pirates, who have 19 points. Although there is a vast difference between the teams in terms of points, on the match day, such statistics will take a backseat. 

The technically brilliant Pawan Kumar Sehrawat has been the force behind Bengaluru's charge this season. The raider has so far garnered 157 points to lead overall tally. He has also made 120 successful raids, highest in the season. 

He is expecting a tough clash. "Because of the good defence from all teams, it's getting difficult for the raiders to perform well this season. Everybody has a plan. We've got lesser points than we got last season at this stage. There is an overload of Super Tackles. All the teams are doing it. The plan has changed a lot," claimed Pawan.

Meanwhile, Patna's star raider Pardeep Narwal admitted that their season is beyond saving now. "Neither our defence nor offence was up to the mark. We have to improve on both fronts," he said of the three-time champions.

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