Having had an almost identical league stage, Delhi and Bengal reached the finals for the first time in seven seasons. The only advantage that Delhi might have is Maninder Singh missing the finals due to his injury, however, Bengal showed that they are capable of winning without him as well.
Dabang Delhi has been one of the most consistent teams in this season, they lost only four of their 22 encounters. Delhi won their semi-finals rather convincingly against Bengaluru Bulls with a six-point margin. Their defence was able to break Pawan’s momentum time and again by tackling him and making him sit off-court that even though he finished the match with 18 points he wasn’t able to make his team win. Delhi is most probably going to go out with the same starting seven as that is their most balanced side. Ravinder Pahal and Joginder Narwal play at the corner position and the experienced duo are the ones guiding the defence.
Anil Kumar has been in form too as he scored 17 points in the last five matches and was even the top defender in the last match with four tackle points. Naveen Kumar, with the support of Vijay and Chandran Ranjit, has been a good raiding trio for the team. Though the only thing that might play on their minds is that in their both encounters this season with Bengal, they were not able to win any.
Bengal Warriors has had a strong starting seven as well as a strong bench strength as despite one of their biggest players missing an important match like the semi-finals they were able to win it with the help of equal contribution from each of the team members. The defence may not have many big names but they have good chemistry and their coordination is what makes them win matches. The team has played with three main raiders out of which Maninder and Mohammed Nabibakhsh have been permanent and the third one is decided amongst
Sukesh Hegde and K.Prapanjan, all of the raiders have done well and that’s one of the reasons for their success. Also, they have been the only team against whom Delhi has not been able to win against ones. In their first encounter, the match ended in a tie despite Delhi being in lead at halftime and in the second clash, they won by nine points despite Delhi best efforts. Even if Maninder doesn’t play this could be a big psychological advantage the team could take with them onto the mat.
He has been an indispensable part of the team with his 253 points in 22 matches. He has scored for the team whenever necessary, even though in the last match he scored less points than Pawan Sehrawat, the overall impact of his points was more than Pawans. The team’s support has been an important aspect of his performance for instance if the team is not able to revive him as soon as possible then he wouldn’t have been able to score this many points. So, all in all, he feeds on the responsibility and this match is going to display his ability to handle and perform under pressure.
The team would hope for their star player to play in the most important match of the league as he has not only been their skipper but the lead raider too with 205 points in 20 matches. Some of the matches Bengal won have been because of his smarts and agility towards the end minutes so him being in the team is really important for the confidence of the rest of the team. Though the team showcased they are able to win without him, the highest raid points in that match was eight points whereas Maninder has an average of 10.25 and so him being into the team gives them an edge.
Bengal Warriors: Baldev Singh, Maninder Singh, Adarsh T, Ravindra Kumawat, Sahil, Mohammad Nabibakhsh, K Prapanjan, Jeeva Kumar, Rinku Narwal, Sukesh Hegde, Amit Kumar, Rakesh Narwal, Mohammad Taghi, Amir Santosh Dhumal, AR Avinash, Vijin Thangadurai, Bhuvneshwar Gaur, Viraj Vishnu Landge, Dharmendra Singh
Dabang Delhi KC: Naveen Kumar, Chandran Ranjit, Vijay, Ravinder Pahal, Joginder Narwal, Vishal Mane, Anil Kumar
Bengal Warriors: Maninder Singh, Mohammed Nabibaksh, Jeeva Kumar, K Prapanjan, Rinku Narwal, Baldev Singh, Mayur Shivtarkar
Time: 19th October, 7:30 pm
Venue: EKA Arena By Transstadia, Ahmedabad
Fantasy picks: Naveen Kumar (Captain), Maninder Singh (vice-captain)
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