Kolkata: Having won their first two matches, a great opportunity beckons Bengal Warriors on their home turf when the third leg of the Season 3 Pro Kabaddi kicks off here on Sunday. Bengal has been home to Kabaddi for a long time and they were a super power at the national level, second only to Maharashtra both in the men's and women's sections. With South Korean star Jang Kun Lee spearheading the charge with precise, speedy and power packed raids, Warriors got past Bengaluru Bulls two days back in the Karnataka capital. Earlier they got the better of Telugu Titans at Visakhapatnam.
Picking up 10 points, they are now third in the points table after Telugu Titans and Patna Pirates. In the Kolkata leg, the hosts start their campaign against a resurgent Puneri Paltan which has two super stars in Manjeet Chhillar and Ajay Thakur. One is a superb all-rounder and the other a top notch raider. Two of the rival players, Deepak Niwas Hudda and army man Surjeet have been selected to play for the country in the South Asian Games which commence on February 10 in Assam. Bengal Warriors next play Dabang Delhi, Patna Pirates and U Mumba in that order. The best encounter of Kolkata could well be between Bengal Warriors and Patna Pirates. Both have run into form early. But the team from Bihar's ancient capital of Pataliputra will be without Sandeep Narwal and Rohit Kumar. Bengal Warriors may hope to put it across U Mumba as they have four of their top players, Captain Anup Kumar, defenders Mohit Chhillar, Surender Nada and Vishal Mane off on national duty. This phase of the event will be important for former champions Jaipur Pink Panthers who may not be able to field ace raider Jasvir Singh owing to injury. They face Dabang Delhi in one of the two matches. If they win on the opening day with limited resources and Jasvir becomes fit with a four-day rest then maybe Bengal Warriors will have to sweat a lot to win. The other tie worth watching will be between Telugu Titans and Patna Pirates. The latter will be without star raider Rahul Chaudhari and 'Mr. Consistent' Sukesh Hegde. Patna Pirates too will be below strength. The team which copes with the losses better will emerge the winner.