Languishing at the ninth spot in PKL standings, Gujarat Giants produced an incredible performance with four wins and a tie on the trot to book their place for the Pro Kabaddi Season 8 playoffs.
Gujarat’s latest triumph, a 36-33 win over U Mumba on Saturday, helped them finish at the fourth position in the PKL 8 standings and set up a mouthwatering Eliminator 2 clash against Bengaluru Bulls at the Sheraton Grand, Whitefield in Bengaluru on Monday.
However, Sunil Kumar and Co. will be wary of Bengaluru Bulls who defeated them in their previous knockout fixture which happened to be the Pro Kabaddi Season 6 final. Pawan Sehrawat was the top performer of that match scoring 22 raid points in the match.
With winning momentum on their side this time around, Gujarat will fancy their chances of overcoming the Bulls’ threat.
Pawan Sehrawat vs Parvesh Bhainswal: A battle to watch out for
However, Pawan Sehrawat stands in the way of Gujarat Giants. Pawan has been the leading raider of Pro Kabaddi Season 8 with 274 raid points in 22 matches. He also has 16 super 10s, the joint-highest this season.
But Pawan will be up against Gujarat Giants’ most consistent defender Parvesh Bhainswal, who has notched 53 tackle points from 22 outings including nine super tackles, the most by any player in PKL season 8.
The last time both teams clashed this season, Pawan Sehrawat ended with a super 10 although he returned empty-handed 10 times, including his dismissal on four instances. Parvesh Bhainswal returned with four tackle points in the match as he and defender Sunil Kumar were the architects behind most of Pawan’s dismissals.
Gujarat Giants vs Bengaluru Bulls, PKL 8 Eliminator 2: Who holds the edge?
Bengaluru Bulls with 487 raid points from 22 matches are at the top of the list with the most raid points in Pro Kabaddi Season 8. They score at an average of 37.23 raid points per match.
However, Gujarat Giants hold an upper hand when it comes to the do-or-die raids with 67 points, a whopping 30 points clear of their opponents in the entire season.
Gujarat’s formidable defence has been the mainstay of their consistency this season conceding just 24 all outs, the third least amongst all teams in PKL 8.
As far as raiding is concerned, Rakesh Sungorya leads the charts for Gujarat Giants this season with 132 raid points across 21 games, including five super 10s. Rakesh has scored over six points on average in every PKL game this season.
“This has been a memorable season for us so far and we are determined to give our best on the mat in the upcoming matches,” Gujarat Giants captain Sunil Kumar said. “We will continue to play as a team and focus on our strengths and work on our weaknesses.”
Gujarat Giants vs Bengaluru Bulls head-to-head record
Gujarat Giants and Bengaluru Bulls have played each other eight times in the Pro Kabaddi League with Gujarat Giants winning four while losing three with one match ending in a tie.
While Bengaluru Bulls won 46-37 in the first match between the two sides this season, Gujarat Giants triumphed in the reverse fixture with a 40-36 win.