Cuttack: Telugu Yoddhas, the GMR-owned franchise after securing their playoff berth last night in Ultimate Kho-Kho Season 2 and are now aiming to maintain their top position in the league standings. The Yoddhas, who finished as runners-up in the inaugural season, will face the defending champions and hosts, Odisha Juggernauts, in their ninth game at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium. Having won against the Juggernauts in the first leg with a close 29-28 encounter, the Yoddhas are seeking a similar result in their upcoming match. The in-form Telugu Yoddhas became the first team to qualify for the playoffs in Ultimate Kho-Kho Season 2 by defeating Chennai Quick Guns with a score line of 38-30.
With six victories out of eight games played so far, Telugu Yoddhas currently lead the league standings with eighteen points to their kitty, while Odisha Juggernauts are in fourth place on the table with fourteen points.
Telugu Yoddhas will next play against Odisha Juggernauts on 07th January, 2024 (Sunday). The game will be telecast LIVE and exclusive on the Sony Sports Network and can be streamed LIVE on the SonyLIV platform from 8:30 PM onwards.
Ahead of the match, Pratik Waikar, Captain, Telugu Yoddhas, said, “It gives us immense pleasure to secure our playoff seat, but our task is not completed yet. We will still put in our efforts in the remaining two league matches to strengthen our position as we approach the playoffs. I’m happy with our team’s overall performance; however, there is room for improvement. Under the able guidance of our coach, Vikas sir, we are training hard to leave no margin of error for our opponents. We aim to end our league campaign on a winning note, bringing joy to our fans and management who have been supporting us throughout.”
Telugu Yoddhas showcase their prowess as one of the best attacking teams in the league, leading the statistical charts in Team Total Points (281) and Team Attacking Points (254). They stand as the only franchise to execute an All-out on their opponents twice. Captain Pratik Waikar, leading his team with warrior-like spirit, tops the charts in Top Wazirs (48 points) and Total Pole Dives (9). He also secures the second position in Top Attackers with 48 points. Providing strong support is Rahul Mandal, ranking second in Total Sky Dives (11) and third in Top Attackers with 44 points. On the defensive front, Aditya Ganpule impressively spends a total of 17 minutes and 12 seconds on the mat in as many matches, securing the second-best defender position for the season. The 21-year-old Aditya has earned the Best Defender of the Match award on four occasions, highlighting his charismatic performance.