The Patna Pirates are in 5th place this season in the Zone B points table having played 4 games won 2 and lost 2. After an initial loss against Tamil Thalaivas, Patna won twice against U.P Yoddha before throwing away the lead and losing a close game against the Telugu Titans.
For the average Patna fan, this situation might seem troubling having seen the team in great form last three seasons but there is no need to worry for the Pirates and they will look to correct their errors in their home leg which starts on Friday.
#3 Home-leg confidence
Patna has always been a very strong team at home. Last season, they didn’t lose a single game at home with 4 wins and 2 ties. This season, despite their paltry start they have had enough time to regroup and to take on the Jaipur Pink Panthers rejuvenated and with all errors rectified. Patna’s fans have always been a source of support to them and have arrived in hordes to watch them play.
Pardeep scored a staggering 88 points in their home leg. So did Jaideep with 22 tackle points in the same no. of games. There was something about the home games that Patna felt comfortable and won 4 games, tied 1 and lost a close game against U.P Yoddha last season when they played in Ranchi as their home stadium.
This year, they return to the Patliputra Sports Complex in Patna. The players who were retained by the side will look to come good now especially in the home leg where many matches are played in quick succession by the teams. Patna has retained their core which helped them win last season with the exception of Monu Goyat. Jaideep, Jawahar and Vijay will slowly look to get back in form this season.
The home leg was when they peaked and emerged from the unknown to the known. The players understand each other very well and they peaked at this point last season and the coaching staff will ensure that their stars are in top-notch form in their side’s home leg.
#2 Team’s fitness and the long tournament duration will help them gain experience
Patna opted to buy many young players this auction rather than established names. Manjeet and Deepak Narwal were one of the big buys for Patna this auction. While they haven’t exploded, they have shown sparks of brilliance and got a few crucial raid points.
Patna has one of the youngest sides in the leagues with their captain Pardeep Narwal only 21 years old. They are also one of the fittest sides and often obtain valuable points from their bench and have good bench strength. Patna’s young stars shined last season with Jaideep scoring 71 points and Jawahar Dagar scoring 50 points and versatile all-rounder Vijay scoring 64 points as well.
The home leg will be the best time for the team to unearth other young stars and get them settled into a Starting 7.While many experts claimed that Patna’s lack of experience will hurt them there is a lot of time for players to mature and develop into stars and in a winning atmosphere like that of Patna’s. With one of the best support staff and coaches, Patna will make sure that their young players mature over the period of their home leg.
#1 An inspiring leader in Pardeep and a Three-time title winning support staff
Pardeep Narwal has been the talk of the Pro Kabaddi ever since he signed for Patna Pirates in Season 3. He was the top raider in Season 3, second highest in Season 4 and was the BEST PLAYER in Season 5 and the top raider and was 150 points clear of the second place and that says something about this man. He ably led the side to a great victory last season and has scored 46 points form 4 games this season, 4 less than his total at this stage last season.
Abozar Mighani managed to get the better of him with the diving ankle hold and he will be going up against two world-class defenders, Mohit Chillar and Fazel Atrachali in his next 2 games. Pardeep needs to be aware of the game plans against him and should look to neutralize the threat by finding new areas to score. While the 1-week break would’ve served the purpose, Pardeep must fire with all guns blazing in order for Patna to get things back in motion.
The coaching staff would want to work with the very impulsive defensive unit that we have seen over the 4 games that Patna have played. With no real venom in the tackle, they have been indecisive and to an extent, lazy and have been caught napping by opposition raiders who’ve taken easy touch points.
While Jaideep and Jawahar should be given starts so that they start to replicate the great combo performances they gave last season. The Patna leg especially saw both of them amass 42 points among themselves. Experienced all-rounder Kuldeep should be given yet another outing in the right cover position. He has shown in his stint with the Panthers that he’s capable of strong, smart defending and Patna should give him more time to settle down.
The very experienced coach Ram Mehar Singh who has won 3 titles with Patna knows exactly how to handle the situation. Even last season, Patna suffered 2 defeats in quick time before their home leg but they struck back with great energy and they will look to do so yet again. Patna Pirates will take on Jaipur on 26th October at 8:00 pm IST and will look to get things going the right way with a win against the Panthers.