The team from the northern state is left wanted by its tacklers at times.

UP Yoddhas has not been consistent since the start of Pro Kabaddi League PKL season 9. They retained their core team from the last season and also brought Pardeep Narwal to strengthen the raiding department. Most of the matches they have lost are high-scoring encounters showing how aggressive the team is but the defence has not stood up as it used to in the last couple of seasons.

UP Yoddhas has added an experienced assistant coach Jeeva Kumar who has been part of PKL since its inception and was also part of the league till the last season as a player for Dabang Delhi KC. Adding Jeeva will help bolster the defence section and gain valuable experience.

Results in PKL 9 Bengaluru Leg

  • Match 1: UP Yoddhas 34 – 32 Jaipur Pink Panthers
  • Match 2: U Mumba 30 – 23 UP Yoddhas 
  • Match 3: UP Yoddhas 42 – 44 Dabang Delhi KC
  • Match 4: UP Yoddhas 44 – 37 Bengaluru Bulls
  • Match 5: Gujarat Giants 51 – 45  UP Yoddhas 
  • Match 6: UP Yoddhas 41 – 24 Tamil Thalaivas 

Positives

Pardeep Narwal is back to form after a slow start to the season. He also achieved the 1400 raid points mark which shall give him more confidence going forward. The star raider in six matches has scored 56 raid points.

Ashu’s brilliance in cover. Before the tournament began, the cover position was a concern but the issue has been solved now.

Negatives

Sumit and Nitesh have not combined together and put up a collective effort. The corner duo need to get back to the season 7 form where they were lethal. 

Nitin Tomar needs to be given more chances to prove himself as a secondary raider in the absence of Pardeep. Nitin has been good in the senior Nationals and National Games and needs to put in the same performance in the PKL and provide a supporting role.

Top Performer

Ashu Singh has been the standout performer for UP Yoddhas’s defence. Not many would have expected Ashu to score more points than the corner combo of Sumit and Nitesh Kumar. The cover defender has scored 20 points in six matches and currently occupies the seventh spot in the tackle points table. In season 8, Ashu scored 49 points but in the current season, he has almost scored halved the points in six matches showing tremendous improvement. 

Pardeep Narwal on the other hand is slowly getting back to his usual form and becoming the first player to score 1400 raid points in PKL.

Under Performer

Nitesh Kumar has looked good in patches but has been highly inconsistent. The captain has scored 13 tackle points in six games ( two points per match) while Sumit on the other hand has scored 17 tackle points in six games. In the past seasons, the corner duo was considered to be deadly by many experts but the same cannot be seen in season 9. Both the corner need to coordinate and work in tandem which has been missing. 

Conclusion

UP Yoddhas is one of the most experienced sides having star players like Surinder Gill, Pardeep, Sumit, and Nitesh Kumar and on their days can change the complexion of the match. In season 9, all have not played in tandem and have shown individual brilliance. At the end of the first leg UP Yodhhas has won three and lost three and with 16 more games left the team look strong enough to make it to the playoffs and rectify their mistakes in the Pune leg of PKL 9.

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