The defending champions face Jaipur Pink Panthers, while the Patna-based team go head-to-head with Telugu Titans.

Defending champions Bengal Warriors will be looking to stage a comeback when they take on Jaipur Pink Panthers on Monday in the vivo Pro Kabaddi League (PKL). The Warriors have suffered humiliating defeats in their previous two outings despite raiding heroics by captain Maninder Singh. The match will be followed by Telugu Titans’ duel against three-time champions Patna Pirates.

Warriors need to support Maninder Singh

Captain Maninder Singh has been consistently producing Super 10s for the Warriors but they’ve failed to compliment his work in defence. Dabang Delhi K.C. scored 52 while Patna secured 44 against a defence that has lacked coherence. Warriors’ Irani all-rounder Esmaeil Nabibakhsh was not part of the squad against Patna due to an injury while Abozar Mighani has looked off-colour in the right corner.

Jaipur Pink Panthers have had a stop-start PKL campaign with two wins and two losses. All the pressure will be once again on Arjun Deshwal to deliver the raid points after a strong start to the season. The former U Mumba raider has four Super 10s in as many matches. But captain Deepak Hooda’s form and the lack of a good raider to support Arjun Deshwal will be a concern for coach Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan. The usually reliable Sandeep Dhull has also been out of form in the left corner for the Panthers.

Pirates in red-hot form

There were a lot of questions asked about Patna Pirates’ playoff possibilities after they lost star raider Pardeep Narwal in the vivo PKL auctions. But the men in green have answered the questions with dominating performances on the mat – the latest coming against defending champions Bengal Warriors. The likes of Monu Goyat and Sachin have stepped up in the absence of a top raider to give Patna important wins. Kabaddi is a team sport and Patna seem to have replaced one top athlete with a combination of young stars. Their defenders Mohammadreza Chiyaneh, Sajin C and Sunil have had a great start to the season as well.

Telugu Titans have shown glimpses of their potential in the initial matches of the season which has been hampered by injuries. Their star raider Siddharth Desai is the latest member in the rehabilitation room but his absence wasn’t felt against Bengaluru Bulls on Saturday. The Titans dominated the match through stellar performances from raider Ankit Beniwal and defender Sandeep Kandola. But captain Rohit Kumar’s form (1 point in the entire season) will be a big concern especially after he missed a great opportunity to seal the win against their Southern rivals and his former team.

Both matches will be played at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, Bengaluru – the fixed venue for Season 8 of vivo PKL.

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