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PKL 2022: Selection headaches aplenty for Puneri Paltan captain Fazel Atrachali

Puneri Paltan sealed PKL 2022 semifinal spot on December 5 (Image Courtesy: PKL)

Hyderabad, December 6: Puneri Paltan captain Fazel Atrachali feels selecting a team for the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) 2022 semifinal will be a problem with the likes of Mohammad Nabibakhsh and Akash Shinde stepping up when needed.

Despite missing star raiders Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat, Puneri Paltan put up an inspiring performance to defeat Patna Pirates 44-30 on Monday (December 5) and confirmed a direct entry into the last four of PKL Season 9.

The Pune captain Atrachali expressed that all players in the Puneri camp being in form could be a problem for him heading into the crucial stage of the tournament.

"We have a lot of good players in our team such as Pankaj Mohite, Akash Shinde and Mohammad Nabibakhsh. We will face a problem of plenty when we select our team for the semi-finals because everyone is playing well," Atrachali said.

In the absence of star raiders Mohit Goyat and Aslam Inamdar, Mohammad Nabibakhsh performed brilliantly against Patna, racking up 8 raid points in the match. And the Sultan was full of praise for his compatriot, who has been restricted in the raiding department.

"When we had Akash, Mohit and Aslam, I asked Nabibakhsh to focus more on defense. But with Mohit and Aslam not there, Nabi has got the chance to effect more raids for the team," Atrachali added.

"If Nabi played for another team, he would've scored 7-8 raid points in every match, but we have too many good raiders in our team, so Nabi doesn't get a lot of chances to raid."

PKL 2022 Playoffs: Qualified Teams, Schedule, Venue, Telecast and Live Streaming InfoPKL 2022 Playoffs: Qualified Teams, Schedule, Venue, Telecast and Live Streaming Info

The Puneri Paltan will next be in action against UP Yoddhas in their final league phase match on Friday (December 9), when they will get a chance to rest their players and test the bench strength once again with semi-finals spot already sealed.

Pune, who have not won the PKL title so far, will play their semifinal on December 15. So, the head coach BC Ramesh was happy about the fact that the players will get a five-day break before their last four clash.

"Nabi supported Akash and Pankaj very well. The team played with patience against Patna. I am very happy that the team has reached the Semi-Finals. We wanted to give the players a bit of a breather and that's why it's great that we have qualified for the Semis directly," BC Ramesh said.

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Story first published: Tuesday, December 6, 2022, 17:43 [IST]
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