Telugu Titans captain Rahul Chaudhari (from left), Pradeep Narwal and Dharmaraj Cheralathan of Patna Pirates and Jaipur Pink Panthers skipper Jasvir Singh flash victory signs on Thursday, eve of Pro Kabaddi semifinals in Hyderabad.
Hyderabad: All is set for the business end of the fourth season of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League and Hyderabad is geared up to play host to the semifinals and the finals at the Gachibowli Stadium. The pre-final rounds will be played on Friday before the title clash on Sunday. Home team Telugu Titans will take on Jaipur Pink Panthers while Patna Pirates will square up against Puneri Paltan for a place in the championship match.
Host captain Rahul Chaudhari was a confident man on Thursday. “We have done really well of late — winning about eight matches on the trot to make the last four stage. I would say we have the momentum… can’t wait to take on Jaipur,” he said. Recapping the Titans’ run, Rahul said the team had practiced really hard to get where they are now. “I was injured early on in the tournament but recovered well and then the team struck amazing rhythm,” he said.
Rahul also tried to psyche his rivals saying his side would enjoy the added muscle of home support. “We bank on the fans here,” he said. Jaipur captain Jasvir Singh was not willing to give up. “We have a strong defence,” he said in a riposte to Rahul’s verbal attack. “It’s always the defence that is strategically important,” he added. Rahul agreed, and made it clear that his side too have laid out the best defence plans. “With a strong defence like ours, I don’t think I need to be worried at all,” he said.
In the first semifinal, defending champions Patna Pirates — the only team to have qualified for playoffs across seasons — will take on Puneri Paltan, the team that made it through the playoffs on the last day of the league matches. With established stars in action, engaging battles are expected.