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Pardeep Narwal's mediocre home-leg form might cost Patna playoffs spot

Pardeep Narwal has struggled to have a major impact in Patna Pirates' home leg in season six. Pro Kabaddi League

Having won just two of their four matches before their home leg, Patna Pirates would have wanted to embark on a winning run in their six home matches. However, they have only managed to win one of their five matches at home so far.

Their only win at home has come against the Jaipur Pink Panthers, who have the fewest wins this year (one in five matches) and is one of only two teams to win fewer matches than Patna this year.

Patna are the three-time defending champions, and what makes their four-match losing streak particularly worrisome is the form of their ace raider Pardeep Narwal.

Pardeep scored the most points in the league in season three and five and was second on the points tally in season four. He's third on the points tally this year -- behind Nitin Tomar and Siddharth Desai -- but that does not reveal the complete picture as he has been in wretched form in his team's home leg so far.

On the face of it, Pardeep has scored a perfectly respectable 49 points in Patna's' five home games, but it is worth noting that he has attempted more than 50 percent of the team's raids.

Pardeep's 49 points have come through 86 raids, of which 23 have been unsuccessful and 20 empty, which means exactly 50 percent of his raids have failed to fetch any points for his team.

Pardeep has been up against the likes of Desai, Rahul Chaudhari and Pawan Sehrawat in the last seven days. The trio of Desai, Chaudhari and Sehrawat attempted a total of 55 raids against Patna, of which only 19 failed to fetch any points for their respective teams.

Patna have been over-reliant on Pardeep in each of the last three seasons but they always had a good support raider, who could step up on Pardeep's off days. This year they do not have that luxury after letting go of Monu Goyat, not choosing to retain him before the auctions.

Most people thought that Patna had found an adequate replacement for Goyat after recruiting Deepak Narwal, but their use of the versatile Deepak has been puzzling. He was an unused substitute in two of their five home leg matches and did not even make it to the 12-man match squad for one other match.

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Highlights: Match 42 - Patna Pirates vs Bengaluru Bulls

Pro Kabaddi League 2018

He was only used as a substitute in one match -- against Bengaluru Bulls on Wednesday. And when finally given a starting spot, he easily outscored Pardeep by notching 10 points in just 12 raids.

The defence has always been a worry for Patna, and that has showed no signs of changing this year. They have only managed to score an average of 8.56 tackle points per match. The only team that has done worse than them are the Tamil Thalaivas.

While they have scored an average of 23.22 raid points this season -- the third-highest among the 12 teams -- the reason why they are still struggling is the fact that they have conceded the second-most points this season. The only team that has conceded more points than them is Puneri Paltan, but they have played three matches more. Moreover, Pardeep has only managed to score seven points in their last two matches, which have come against the Telugu Titans and the Bengaluru, who have two of the strongest defences in the competition.

Patna's last home match is against the Bengal Warriors, who have only lost one out of their five matches so far this year. They have a very strong defence, so both Patna and Pardeep's problems might only increase from here. Post that, they face the emerging Dabang Delhi KC. Pardeep is a left raider predominantly, so he will be up against Surjeet Singh (Bengal) and Ravinder Pahal (Delhi) in those matches. Pardeep's head-to-head against those two top-notch defenders might decide his team's fortunes, but what would also help him a big deal is coach Ram Mehar Singh starting Deepak in every match.