PKL 9: Dabang Delhi on top of the table after first week
- Reigning champions Dabang Delhi are at the top of the table with 20 points
- Tamil Thalaivas, Puneri Paltan, Gujarat Giants, and Patna Pirates are yet to go off the mark
The 9th edition of Pro Kabaddi League 2022 kickstarted on October 7 in Bengaluru. With the first week of the competition ending, eight out of the 12 teams have recorded at least one victory in the underway campaign. Four teams – Tamil Thalaivas, Puneri Paltan, Gujarat Giants, and Patna Pirates, are yet to go off the mark in PKL 2022.
With several intense contests between players and teams at the Shree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru, reigning champions Dabang Delhi are at the top of the table with 20 points after four games. They are four points clear of second-placed Jaipur Pink Panthers and five ahead of third-placed Bengal Warriors. With 10 points, U Mumba, Haryana Steelers, and Bengaluru Bulls are in the fourth, fifth, and sixth spots respectively.
The most exciting fixture so far this season was the game between Puneri Paltan and Bengaluru Bulls. After trailing 14 points against Bengaluru at the end of the first half, Puneri levelled the scores at 35-35 in the second half. However, Bengaluru’s Vikash Kandola clinched a couple of raids to help his side secure a thrilling victory.
We already have had two tied games in the ongoing season nine of PKL. The first tied fixture of PKL 2022 was between three-time champions Patna Pirates and Puneri Paltan. The teams were locked at 34-34 in the match’s final minute. Following that, both sides were not keen on taking risks and hence the scoreline remained so.
Gujarat Giants tied 31-31 with Tamil Thalaivas in Match 5 of the 2022 season. After The Thalaivas lost their skipper Pawan Sehrawat early in the match due to an injury, their debutant Narender rose to the occasion and ensured that his side fought till the end and drew the game against Gujarat.
Top performers from Week 1 of PKL 2022
Dabang Delhi’s Naveen Kumar and U.P. Yoddhas’s Surrender Gill have both claimed 53 points each from four and three games respectively and are currently the joint-top raiders of the league. With some tough fixtures coming up, it is Naveen and Gill’s responsibility to lead their team from the front.
Among defenders, Dabang Delhi’s Krishan Dhull and Bengal Warriors’ Girish Ernak have produced some excellent performances this season. Delhi’s tall defender Dhull has scored 16 points in four games and has been influential in his team’s run so far this term. Bengal’s Ernak is at the top of the defenders’ table with 17 points.
Meanwhile, Jaipur Pink Panthers’ Ankush Rathee has been the centre of attraction among the young players. Initiating the tackles on raiders on most occasions, the 22-year-old Ankush has been remarkable in all four games for Jaipur and is in the top 10 of the defenders’ table with 11 points. Keep an eye on Ankush Rathee in the upcoming games!
Favourites to win PKL 2022
Defending champions Dabang Delhi are certainly one of the contenders to claim the Pro Kabaddi title this season. Delhi, who are aiming to become only the second team to defend their title, pulled off two stunning comebacks in the first week to claim victories and that shows they are very much still dominant. Back Dabang Delhi at 5.00 to win the PKL 2022 title!
Tamil Thalaivas are PKL’s serial underperformers, they’ve remained in the bottom two spots in each of the previous four editions. However, Tamil Thalaivas’ new signing Pawan Kumar Sehrawat, the most expensive player in PKL history, could single-handedly turn the tables around for the side. Unfortunately, the talented raider is currently injured and the side will want him to recover as soon as possible.
There could be another underdog in Telugu Titans. After having two forgettable seasons – 12th in PKL 8 and 11th in PKL 7 – their current squad promises uplifting change. Telugu Titans probably have the most balanced squad this season, at least on paper.
What’s next? Upcoming PKL games’ odds and predictions
Haryana Steelers vs Puneri Paltan
Although Puneri have a superior head-to-head record against Haryana, with 6-4, the former are yet to win a game this season… Haryana Steelers have a slight edge here, securing 2 wins in 3 games so far in the 2022 campaign.
Bengal Warriors vs Telugu Titans
Bengal are clear favoruites to win this fixture as they have beaten these opponents 11 times over the years in the league, while they have been on the losing side just thrice. Even in the underway season, Bengal have secured 3 wins from 4 games, and Telugu have a win from 4 games.
UP Yodha vs Jaipur Pink Panthers
Even though Yodha have got the better of Jaipur five times and have lost just thrice, it is the latter who are in better form in the 2022 edition. Jaipur have suffered a defeat in one game out of their four outings, Yodha on the other hand, have managed just 1 victory from 3 games.
Dabang Delhi vs Patna Pirates
Pirates are yet to open their account this season, while Dabang are table-toppers having won all their four games. With their radar and defender at the top of their respective lists this season, Dabang are clear favorites to win this game. It is also a repeat of last season’s final.