Odisha Juggernauts to take on Gujarat Giants obstacle in Ultimate Kho Kho Season 2 semifinal
Cuttack, January 10, 2024: Defending champions Odisha Juggernauts will hope to keep their impressive run going when they take on Gujarat Giants in the first semifinal of Ultimate Kho Kho Season 2 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack on Thursday.
Ultimate Kho Kho, promoted by Amit Burman in collaboration with the Kho Kho Federation of India, became the first Indian sports league to secure Series A funding, courtesy the UK-based BNP Group.
Odisha Juggernauts have been unbeaten over their last five games, winning a number of them convincingly. Their 35-27 victory over Telugu Yoddhas on Sunday was especially impressive. Players like Deepak Sahoo — one of the best Wazirs this season — Gowtham MK and Dilip Khandavi have all stepped up when it mattered. They will also have the luxury of playing in front of a very vocal home crowd that has been a tremendous source of support all season.
However, in Gujarat Giants, they face an opponent that convincingly routed them in the league stages. They did have their revenge in the reverse fixture, but Odisha Juggernauts will not be underestimating their opponents, going into Thursday’s encounter.
“Gujarat Giants are a good team but we are also very confident as we won the last game against them, so I am looking forward to that match,” said Odisha Juggernauts captain Dipesh More. “We are very happy with the crowd support and that is adding the extra advantage to the way we are playing so it feels really good to play in front of our home fans. We are not taking pressure, just thinking about one step at a time. Our first target is to win the semifinals and then we will think about the finals.”
Meanwhile, Gujarat Giants will look to arrest a worrying dip in form. After looking unstoppable in the early stages of the tournament, they have only registered two wins in their last five games. Players like Sanket Kadam, P Narasayya and Rajvardhan Patil have been impressive in patches, but they will need the whole team to come together and contribute if they are to make it to the final.
“Odisha Juggernauts is a strong team and it will be a high voltage match and we are working on the strategy for our next match. We are ready to play against the crowd, we know we will be playing against the crowd but we will give our best. Our focus is both on recovery and training, we are working on our drawbacks and also doing video analysis on our opponent teams” said Akshay, captain of team Gujarat Giants.
The exciting action of Ultimate Kho Kho will be telecast on Sony Sports Network’s channels and SonyLiv with live coverage of two matches starting at 7.30pm IST.