The two-time runners-up have played high-scoring games so far.
Gujarat Giants had a steady start winning and losing three encounters each along with a tie in the Bengaluru leg of the PKL 9. Having played seven matches in the Bengaluru leg Gujarat Giants are just inside the playoffs spot but need to hold onto the position with many teams stacked in the mid-points table.
Rakesh Kumar has stood tall and helped Gujarat Giants in the raiding department taking over the primary raider role from Chandran Ranjith. Sourav Gulia on the other hand has scored 18 points in seven matches slowly getting back to form.
Results in PKL 9 Bengaluru Leg
- Match 1: Gujarat Giants 31 – 31 Tamil Thalaivas
- Match 2: Dabang Delhi KC 53 – 33 Gujarat Giants
- Match 3: Gujarat Giants 47 – 37 Puneri Paltan
- Match 4: Jaipur Pink Panthers 25 – 18 Gujarat Giants
- Match 5: Gujarat Giants 51 – 45 UP Yoddhas
- Match 6: Haryana Steelers 38 – 42 Gujarat Giants
- Match 7: Gujarat Giants 29 – 37 U Mumba
Rakesh Kumar and Chandran Ranjith have complemented each other well with the former taking the bulk of the responsibility in PKL 9. Mahendra Ganesh Rajput has always been a valuable substitute scoring crucial points whenever required.
Sourav Gulia has been a great addition and is leading the defensive unit.
Good usage of Mahendra Ganesh Rajput as a substitute.
If Rakesh Kumar fails to perform then the team has been in a spot of bother with captain Ranjith performing the secondary raider role. The captain needs to step up and put more raids to support Rakesh.
Rakesh Kumar has been the standout raider for Gujarat Giants scoring 78 raid points in just 6 matches. He is just three raid points behind Naveen Kumar from Dabang Delhi KC who is leading the chart. Rakesh at the start was expected to be the secondary raider supporting captain Chandran Ranjith but as the season passed by it was Rakesh who took the onus from Ranjith and performed the duty extremely well.
Speed and agility is Rakesh Kumar’s biggest strength and is good at taking bonus points. If Rakesh plays in a similar fashion then reaching the 300-point mark should not be a big task.
Having drafted a young squad, the youngsters are slowly getting into the groove and soaking in the pressure of the Pro Kabaddi League. All the players are putting in a good effort, especially the youngsters who are playing their maiden season. Shankar Gadai and Arkam Shaikh were good in the junior leagues and if they play more games then the experience can help them perform better going forward in the Pune leg.
Gujarat Giants lost their final encounter in the Bengaluru leg to U Mumba and going forward will look to get back to winning ways. Ram Mehar Singh after taking over from Manpreet Singh has stacked in a young inexperienced squad and will be happy with the performance the players have put in.