Playoffs for Pro Kabaddi 2019 will start on Monday with the Eliminators being played at the Eka Arena TranStadia in Ahmedabad. Third-ranked UP Yoddha will meet defending champions Bengaluru Bulls, who finished sixth on PKL 2019 points table, in Eliminator 1.
Bengaluru Bulls are one of the top performing raids units this season, thanks to Pawan Sehrawat’s form . Bulls average close to 22 raid points, making them the 2nd best team. However, Pawan has emerged as a lone warrior for Bulls as he has a best raid strike rate (74) and contributed 65 per cent of Bengaluru’s raid points, the 2nd most by a raider this season.
For UP Yoddha, Nitesh Kumar has an average start of the season but in the second half of season he came back to form and repeated his last season’s heroics and almost doubled his average tackle points. No defender has scored as many tackle points (47) as Kumar in the last 11 matches.
Swot analysis: UP Yoddha
UP have the best corner defender duo this season. Sumit (72) and Nitesh (70) have scored equally with a combined tackle point average of 6.5, the highest among corner combinations. Both are among the top 5 defenders in PKL 2019.
UP are one of the best defence units: Not just their corners, but the whole team play well on defence. UP Yoddha average 11.2 tackle points and have a tackle strike of 47, the 2nd best among defence units this season. Amit is the leading assist provider in defence (79) overall.
Ability to stage comebacks: UP Yoddha have trailed by 3 points or more at the end of half-time on 5 occasions and have never managed to stage a comeback in any of those matches (5 losses).
This is a direct consequence of the raid unit’s performance in the last 10 minutes. UP have a raid strike rate of 38, the lowest among teams in the final 10 minutes this season.
Raiding in Super tackle situation: Among the teams that have qualified for playoffs, UP Yoddha are the worst when it comes to raiding in super tackle situation with a raid strike rate of 43.
WATCH: UP Yoddha vs Bengaluru Bulls video highlights
Swot: Bengaluru Bulls
Pawan’s exceptional form: No raider has averaged as much as Pawan Sehrawat (14) and he piped Pardeep Narwal from the top of the raiders leaderboard. He is one among the only two raiders to have scored 300-plus raid points and has the league’s best raid strike rate of 74. He is on a run of 10 consecutive Super 10s.
Ability to stage comebacks: Among teams that are contesting in the playoffs, Bengaluru Bulls have the best comeback win per cent (43) this season. They have won three of the seven matches where they trailed by 3-plus points at the end of half-time.
Do-or-Die Raiding: Bengaluru Bulls find themselves at the bottom of the table among the playoffs contesting teams in terms of Do-or-Die raiding. The team possessing the likes of Pawan Sehrawat has a Do-or-Die raid strike rate of just 53 this season.
Lack of Support in Raiding: Pawan Sehrawat single handedly has scored 65 per cent of Bengaluru’s raid points. None of the support raiders in the team has scored consistently. Rohit Kumar had few good matches scoring at an average of 5.2 but at a low Raid strike rate of 38. Rohit has also not featured in the last five games and it is still not clear that he will play the Eliminator or not.