After Gujarat Fortunegiants’ incredible rampant run in Ahmedabad, the action now shifts to Lucknow as UP Yoddha look to capitalise on home advantage in the fourth leg of Pro Kabaddi season 5. The third leg culminated with Fortunegiants sharing three points with Bengal Warriors to strengthen their hold at the top spot in Zone A. It will be interesting to see if UP Yoddha manage to put up a fight or will they succumb in front of the home crowd.
Other than Gujarat, UP Yoddha, Patna Pirates and Puneri Paltan have shown signs of consistency so far in the tournament while Telugu Titans and Bengaluru Bulls’ horrific season continues. Despite having star players like Rahul Chaudhari, Rakesh Kumar, Rohit Kumar, the two giants of Pro Kabaddi have struggled.
Meanwhile, the focus will be on the Nitin Tomar-led side as they take on much-experienced side U Mumba in their first home game. As it has been the case so far, the UP-based team has relied on their captain as Rishank Devadiga hasn’t delivered much in their last four matches. In the four matches he has played, he has scored 20 points. UP Yoddha began their debut season with a comprehensive win over the Titans, Bengaluru Bulls before going down against Bengal Warriors. But, they bounced back against Titans and showed great composure against the Pirates.
Currently, sitting at the third spot in the Zone B points table, the hosts look like they have an advantage as compared to that of U Mumba. With their captain looking in fine touch, Yoddha will hope to start their home campaign on a winning note as Anup’s form has not been as per his standards.
As the first inter-zonal week continues, UP Yoddha will play three of their six home games against Zone A teams. After facing U Mumba, Nitin & co will play Haryana Steelers and Jaipur Pink Panthers. In the other inter-zonal contests, Bengaluru Bulls will take on Jaipur Pink Panthers, Telugu Titans will face season 2 winners and the defending champions clash against Puneri Paltan.
However, the challenge will be for Gujarat Fortunegiants and their youngsters, – Sachin Tawar, Rohit Gulia and Mahendra Rajput, – to display their prodigy in away matches.
The match between UP Yoddha and Jaipur Pink Panthers will conclude the first leg of the inter-zonal challenge as the competition will once again shift to intra-zonal matches. This is also the first time that Lucknow fans will see their star players take panga at the Babu Banarasi Das indoor stadium.