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PKL 10: Can the U.P. Yoddhas stage a turnaround after seven matches in the league?

The U.P. Yoddhas, who have yet to win a Pro Kabaddi League title, have recruited a tough team and are seeking to capture the trophy this season as they begin their season 10 campaign, but have been unable to keep their campaign on track thus far. They are ranked tenth (third-last) in the league rankings, with only fifteen points and a score difference of +15. They have played seven matches, winning four, losing four, and winning only two. One match finished in a tie. The Yoddhas will face the Bengaluru Bulls in their eighth encounter of the tournament on Friday, December 29, 2023, at 9:00 p.m. IST at the Noida Indoor Stadium in Noida.

The Yoddhas were defeated by the U Mumba in their first game of the season, falling 31-34 overall and trailing by three points. Their captain, Pardeep Narwal, failed to score a single point. Surender Gill, Vijay Malik, and Anil Kumar stepped up in Pardeep’s absence, scoring seven, five, and seven points, respectively, to keep the team’s scoreboard running.

The Yoddhas were on fire in their second encounter, crushing the Haryana Steelers by a score of 57-27. Pardeep Narwal immediately established himself and finished the game with 12 raid points. Surender Gill made an impression on the biggest stage, expertly complimenting Pardeep and amassing over 13 raid points.

The U.P. Yoddhas demonstrated their strength once more in their third game, defeating the Telugu Titans 48-33. Surender Gill dominated the mat once more, scoring 14 raid points. With five tackle points, Nitesh Kumar was the top defender.

The Bengaluru Bulls put a halt to U.P. Yoddhas’ campaign by defeating them by two points at home. The raiders performed admirably, but the lack of points earned by the defense was the cause of the defeat. U.P. Yoddhas were held to a 37-37 tie by the Bengal Warriors in their most recent match. Surender Gill and Vijay Malik were the team’s lone fighters, leading the team to a tie and avoiding defeat.

In their sixth match, the U.P. Yoddhas were crushed by the Jaipur Pink Panthers by a huge margin of 17 points and derailed their team further. In the next encounter against the Gujarat Giants, the Yoddhas faced another loss where no player other than Surender Gill and Nitesh Kumar stepped up for the team.

Pardeep Narwal, Surender Gill, and Vijay Malik are three exceptional raiders for the U.P. team, whom they purchased for an amazing INR 85 lakh during the PKL 2023 auction. Vijay has been a good backup raider for Surender Gill and Pardeep Narwal. The defenders have not been at their best in the competition and must improve quickly if U.P. is to make the playoffs.

The raiders other than Surender Gill need to step up and make a mark on the kabaddi mat in order for the franchise to win matches. The defenders also need to play strategically and support Nitesh Kumar who has been doing his part in every single match.


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