Ahmedabad: 'Most toughest season', the organisers had termed the Season 7 of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) and as the tournament progressed, eventually it really turned out to be a nail-biting edition where all experienced teams with some great players in their ranks are back home and two new teams, Dabang Delhi and Bengal Warriors, who have never played a final, are all set to be up against each other on Saturday.
Undoubtedly, when two teams, considered as underdogs of the league before the start of the season -- meet in the summit clash after outclassing the giants of the sport, another edge of the seat match is bound to be expected.
However, the Bengal camp would be worried as their skipper and star player Maninder Singh was on bench in the semi-finals and the BC Ramesh-coached side will pray for their leader's early recovery before Saturday's contest. Meanwhile, Delhi would hope that he misses to be on the mat as it could be an easy outing for them.
IANS looks at the strengths and weaknesses of both the sides for one final time this season:
When it come to the raiding department, young Naveen Kumar will once again lead the charge for Delhi. With 21 consecutive Super 10s and, a league record, Naveen has had a campaign to remember. The youngster has broken numerous records in his 22 appearances so far this season and has led Delhi to their maiden semi-final appearance in the league.
While Naveen has undoubtedly been Delhi's lead raider, his teammates Chandran Ranjit and all-rounder Vijay have also been quite impactful in attack, scoring 116 and 45 raid points respectively.
Their attack also boasts of the experienced Meraj Sheykh, who has come in handy over the course of the season.
For Bengal, Maninder has led the attack from the front and registered his second straight 200-raid point campaign in the process. He has already recorded his best performance in a match this season with his 19-raid point showing against Jaipur Pink Panthers. He also recorded the most Super 10s he has ever recorded in a single season (10) and equalled his record for the most Super Raids in a single season (6) while averaging more than 10 raid points per game.
A smart finisher, Maninder has proven vital in finishing close matches in his team's favour. He has found strong support in K. Prapanjan, Mohammad Nabibakhsh and Sukesh Hegde this season.
Thus, Bengal have three raiders who have more than 75 raid points in the season, making them one of the most potent raiding units in the league.