Day 1 of the fifth season of Pro Kabaddi will involve a former champion, a former runner-up, a former semi-finalist and one of the four new teams this season. The first match will be between Telugu Titans and Tamil Thalaivas and this will be followed by U Mumba taking on their fellow Maharashtrian team, Puneri Paltan.
Both these matches will be preceded by an opening ceremony with Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar being the star attraction. Telugu Titans have reached the semi-finals twice in last year’s two editions of the league. their captain Rahul Chaudhari were confident that the side would be able to beat any team that comes forward. They will be up against the league’s newbie, Tamil Thalaivas. Their skipper Ajay Thakur admitted that beating any team in the league would be difficult all players are equally good. “Luck will play a big role,” he said, echoing Jaipur Pink Panthers captain Manjeet Chillar during the unveiling of the trophy on Thursday.
U-Mumba are led by seasoned veteran Anup Kumar. They have been one of the most consistent teams in the league, reaching the semi-finals in every season save for the last. Anup Kumar, who had led India to the World Cup title in 2016, said that the rest of the teams should know better than to come to the mat keeing in mind U-Mumba’s form last season. Puneri Paltan captain Deepak Hooda, on the other hand, summed up their opening fixture in the best way possible. “U-Mumba have always been a good team,” he said, “This time the Puneri Paltans are also a good team. So this time, only the mat will tell who will come out as winners.”
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