Gujarat Giants will lock horns with Tamil Thalaivas in their opening match of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 9 at the Shree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday, October 8.
Led by captain Chandran Ranjith, two-time finalists Gujarat Giants will look to make an impressive start to their new season against a formidable Tamil Thalaivas outfit.
Under former coach Manpreet Singh, the Giants were impressive in Pro Kabaddi Season 8 as they finished fourth in the league phase to qualify for the playoffs. The Sunil Kumar-led Giants registered 10 wins, four ties and eight defeats in their 22 league matches last season. With 67 points from 22 matches, the Giants stormed into the PKL playoffs for the third time in four seasons.
However, Gujarat Giants were knocked out in the Eliminator 2 of Season 8 as they lost to Bengaluru Bulls 29-49.
The onus of scoring will be on Giants’ standout raider of last season, Rakesh, who accumulated 140 points in 22 matches. Gujarat Giants’ captain Chandran Ranjith will also look to continue his splendid form after earning 90 points for his side in the previous edition.
On the other hand, Tamil Thalaivas will aim for an improved outing after a disappointing campaign last season. Having managed just five victories in 22 matches, the Thalaivas finished 11th in the 12-team tournament with 47 points on the board.
Under coach Udaya Kumar, the Tamil Nadu-based outfit has roped in star raider Pawan Sehrawat for a whopping INR 2.26 crores ahead of the new season. Pawan has the third-highest raid points (987) in the history of Pro Kabaddi.
Gujarat Giants vs Tamil Thalaivas head-to-head
Gujarat Giants have a superior head-to-head record against Tamil Thalaivas in the PKL, winning four of their six matches so far. The Thalaivas have secured just two victories.
In PKL Season 8, the Giants won both their fixtures against the Thalaivas and will have an edge heading into their Season 9 opener on Saturday.