There is no denying the fact that in a team sport, home advantage plays a major role. The players get extra motivation playing in front of their home fans and the visiting teams feel the pressure, eventually committing errors.
However, in a fast-paced game like Kabaddi where things can change in a blink of an eye, it’s quite challenging for home teams to dominate proceedings throughout.
Out of the 12 matches played in four cities in VIVO Pro Kabaddi League Season 7, the home teams have won only three games in their backyard. Being the most successful side in their home den in the last two seasons of VIVO Pro Kabaddi League, the Giants fell short in all four home games.
Although, the fans were at the receiving end of those defeats, they didn’t fail to applaud the individual brilliance of our players. So, without further ado, here are the top takeaways from the Ahmedabad leg.
Sonu Jaglan - An Exciting Prospect
A big positive for Manpreet in the home leg is the exceptional performance of NYP, Sonu Jaglan. The lack of third raider in the team worried the Giants in the first two home matches, so Manpreet started Sonu Jaglan in place of More GB against Bengal Warriors.
The move worked wonders as Sonu performed brilliantly, securing 9 raid points. In addition to his incredible raiding skills, Sonu also helped the team defensively, picking up a stunning super tackle on Prapanjan. Despite not performing to his full potential against Jaipur Pink Panthers, Sonu can be a reliable third raider for the team in the upcoming matches.
Pankaj - A New Star In The Making
There is no doubt that we tasted a lot of success in the past two seasons, owing to our unprecedented defensive stability. Although Sunil and Parvesh have shown glimpses of the same in Season 7, they haven’t received the right support from the corner defenders.
Sumit Malik’s inconsistency in the left corner was a concern for Manpreet, but he found an answer in the form of Pankaj. The young defender showed plenty of potential against Jaipur and eventually won the Tata Ace defender of the match.
From Strong ankle holds to mighty thigh holds, Pankaj showed no mercy when he came up against the likes of Nitin Rawal and Nilesh Salunke, securing 6 tackles points in his very first VIVO Pro Kabaddi League match.
After a dream debut, Pankaj will now look to cement his spot in the left corner position, and also considering his magnificent performance against the Panthers, we hope he can be a huge supporting factor to Sunil and Parvesh.
Sunil Kumar - A True Warrior
Had Sunil’s heroic effort against Bengal Warriors ended up on a winning note, it would have been one of the best individual performances in Pro Kabaddi League history. After picking just 1 raid point in the first half against Bengal, the Giants’ defence led by Sunil Kumar mesmerized everyone in Ahmedabad.
Our Captain’s three stunning super tackles forged a jaw-dropping comeback but, Prapanjan’s touch point on Vinod in the buzzer raid handed the Warriors a narrow two-point win. Sunil’s devastating form is a big takeaway from the home leg as we prepare to face Patna Pirates at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai, on Friday.
Despite putting ourselves in an unfamiliar position after losing four home matches, the fighting spirit shown by the Giants has been fantastic. As Manpreet rightly mentioned in the post-match press conference after our final home match, the players have given their hundred percent and it was just those few unlucky moments that decided the outcome of all four matches. Now, the one-week break has come at the right time and we hope to see our Giants rejuvenated for Friday’s epic encounter against Patna Pirates.