PKL 2019 | 5Ws and 1H – UP Yoddha

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PKL

PKL 2019 | 5Ws and 1H – UP Yoddha

UP Yoddha will go into PKL 7 with the intention of making it to the finals for the first time ever in their PKL history as despite going into the playoffs in the last two seasons, they are yet to play the in the final. They have acquired the services of star raider Monu Goyat before PKL 2019.

How they performed in the previous season?

UP Yoddha’s campaign in the sixth season of the PKL was very much similar to what they had in their maiden appearance in the tournament in 2017. At a time when no one gave them a chance to make it to the playoffs, the Yoddha came from behind to overtake Telugu Titans and Patna Pirates on the Zone B points table and became the last team to make it to the playoffs last year. 

Despite having a settled raiding combination of Rishank Devadiga, Prashanth Kumar Rai, and Shrikant Jadhav, the team had a terrible start last time and also failed to register a win in their home leg in Greater Noida. However, with some sensational show in the last few league games, the Devadiga-led unit made it to the next round with 57 points from 22 games in the league stage. In the playoffs, they first knocked out title favourites U Mumba and then got the better of Dabang Delhi. A lost at the hands of Gujarat Fortunegiants in the virtual semi-final ended their dream run in PKL 6.

Who are the star players for the Yoddha?

UP Yoddha managed to rope in Goyat for Rs 93 lakhs at the auctions in April earlier this year and he is supposed to be the player to watch out for in UP this year. He was named the skipper of Haryana Steelers after bagging a whopping amount of 1.51 crore rupees as Surender Nada was injured after the first game. However, the captaincy duties had a negative impact on his game but this year he would want to turn the tables in his favour. He will be a part of the raiding trio which also has Devadiga and Shrikant Jadhav in the team.

Devadiga and Nitesh Kumar are the two other stars to watch out for from the Yoddha camp. Devadiga is senior and experienced. He is also likely to take the captaincy role as well while young right corner Nitesh was the best defender of the previous season with a total of 100 tackle points from 25 matches. 

UP Yoddha squad:

Amit Narwal, Sachin Kumar, Nitesh Kumar, Aashish Nagar, Azad Singh, Akram Shaikh, Monu Goyat, Shrikant Jadhav, Rishank Devadiga, Mohsen Maghsoudloujafari, Narender, Masud Karim, Surender Singh, Gulveer Singh, Gurdeep, Ankush 

SportsCafe’s starting 7:

Centre – Monu Goyat

Left in – Rishank Devadiga

Right in – Shrikant Jadhav

Left corner – Sachin Kumar 

Right corner – Nitesh Kumar

Left cover – Amit

Right cover – Narender

What is their strength?

Like the previous season, the raiding unit is the strength for UP Yoddha going into the league with players like Goyat, Devadiga and Jadhav. Mohsen Maghsoudlou is there as a back-up for the three and the Iranian now has got some experience playing in the league. Goyat’s focus will be on getting off to a good start and leave behind what had happened in the last edition. 

In the defence, they will have settled corner combination of Nitesh at the right and Sachin at the left. Both of them played together in the previous season and that worked really well for the Jasvir Singh-coached team. 

Where they might fall behind other teams?

Apart from the Iranian all-rounder Mohsen, they don’t have a proper back-up player for almost all positions in the starting 7 which will be the biggest concern in a three-month-long tournament. Both Goyat and Devadiga had injuries in the previous season and that made them struggle with their form as well.

Left cover in the defence is also an issue for the Yoddha as Amit is not that experienced in the league. It is only his second season in the tournament and in his first year with the Greater Noida-based franchise and in his first assignment, he played only 14 matches. This inexperience might haunt the team which has a more or less settled defensive unit with the others being Nitesh, Sachin and Narender.  

Why one should support UP Yoddha?

UP Yoddha had the services of some top players like Devadiga from the fifth edition of the league. People come in good numbers for Devadiga who has been very popular in the league from the day the league started in 2014. He was the leader of the team and has ensured that his supporters come in good numbers to the stands whenever he is taking the mat.

Come 2019, UP Yoddha rope in Goyat someone who has a huge fan-base of his own. UP has traditionally been a place where there is a good support for the indigenous sports of the country and kabaddi also enjoys a good following in this part of India. With a good track record in their first two seasons of the league, UP will get good backing from their fans this season as well. 

When they will play their games?

Like the last season of the league, UP Yoddha will play their home matches in Greater Noida in the seventh season as well and that will be the last leg of the tournament as well. UP will play their games against Dabang Delhi, Puneri Paltan, Telugu Titans and Bengaluru Bulls from October 5 to October 11 in the home leg. The Jasvir Singh-coached side will start their campaign on July 24 against Bengal Warriors in Hyderabad.

Schedule:

July 24 vs Bengal Warriors in Hyderabad

July 26 vs Gujarat Fortunegiants in Hyderabad

July 31 vs U Mumbai in Mumbai

August 2 vs Telugu Titans in Mumbai

August 7 vs Tamil Thalaivas in Patna

August 9 vs Patna Pirates in Patna

August 12 vs Bengaluru Bulls in Ahmedabad

August 14 vs Haryana Steelers in Ahmedabad

August 19 vs Jaipur Pink Panthers in Chennai

August 25 vs Dabang Delhi in Delhi

August 26 vs Puneri Paltan in Delhi

September 1 vs Bengal Warriors in Bengaluru

September 6 vs Patna Pirates in Bengaluru

September 9 vs Gujarat Fortunegiants in Kolkata

September 16 vs Jaipur Pink Panthers in Pune

September 18 vs U Mumba in Pune

September 21 vs Tamil Thalaivas in Jaipur

September 28 vs Haryana Steelers in Panchkula

October 5 vs Dabang Delhi in Greater Noida

October 6 vs Puneri Paltan in Greater Noida

October 9 vs Telugu Titans in Greater Noida

October 11 vs Bengaluru Bulls in Greater Noida

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