The Vivo Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), 2019 season is heating up! Only six teams out of the twelve will qualify for the playoffs. From here on, the battle for the playoffs is entering its final phase. In a few days, we’ll know which teams are left with a chance to win the trophy. The margin for error, from here on, is minimal.
1. The certainties
Dabang Delhi K.C. and Bengal Warriors have already qualified for the playoffs. These two teams have qualified despite over 25 matches yet to be played in the league phase. It is no doubt, a phenomenal achievement!
Dabang Delhi K.C. has reinvented itself this season. Naveen Kumar's emergence as a raid machine has proved instrumental in his team's success. He's been ably supported by defenders Ravinder Pahal and Joginder Singh Narwal. Dabang Delhi K.C. has proved to be the team to beat this season.
The script is not much different for Bengal Warriors. Maninder Singh’s raids and Baldev Singh’s tackles have often caught the other teams on the wrong foot. The Bengal Warriors have shown how vital coordination is between all the players on the mat.
Dabang Delhi K.C. and Bengal Warriors have definitely ticked all the boxes.
2. The challengers
Four spots are still up for grabs. Only 20 points separate the third-placed Haryana Steelers and the tenth-placed Gujarat Fortunegiants. It speaks volume for the keen competition this season. Considering that every match won gives a team five points, a couple of games can turn the table over.
U Mumba, Bengaluru Bulls and U.P. Yoddha are tied on 53 points and are placed fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. While U Mumba doesn’t have a top-10 rated raider, their defence has been watertight. Captain Fazel Atrachali has done a great job with his troops. Will he guide them to the playoffs?
Defending champions Bengaluru Bulls, boast of the top raider of the league, Pawan Kumar Sehrawat. He'll have to rise to the occasion to shepherd his team through to the playoffs.
U.P. Yoddha has silently gone about with its task and is currently at the sixth position. They have undoubtedly emerged as the dark horses and stand an excellent chance to go through.
The depth of other teams has ensured that even they are in still in contention for a playoff spot. Jaipur Pink Panthers, Puneri Paltan, Patna Pirates and Gujarat Fortunegiants do have a chance. A streak of fine performances can even now topple some apple-carts.