Chennai Quick Guns will hope to keep their dominant run going when they take on Telugu Yoddhas in the second semi-final of the 2023-24 Ultimate Kho Kho on Thursday.

The Quick Guns have arguably been the best team of the season so far. The team with the most attacking and defensive points, they also have the player of the season within their ranks in Ramji Kashyap.

Kashayp is both the top attacker and the top defender of this season, has the most number of sky dives as well as the most dive points.

What makes Chennai Quick Guns’ season all the more impressive is how they have been fuelled by some young players who are just at the start of their careers. Kashyap himself is just 20. All-rounder Madan, who has put in some superb defensive displays, is only 19. Attacker Vijay Shinde 21, while Akash Kadam is 22.

The Yoddhas, on the other hand, will be aiming to arrest their worrying dip in form. After looking like a good bet to top the league table all season, they suffered heavy defeats in their last two matches, including a huge 20-point reverse in the last game against Gujarat Giants.

They will however take solace from the fact that they did convincingly beat the Quick Guns the last time these two teams met. They will look for inspiration from their captain Pratik Waikar, who is not only the top Wazir in the league this season, but has the most number of pole dives as well.

Odisha Juggernauts vs Gujarat Giants

In the other semi-final, reigning champions Odisha Juggernauts will hope to keep their impressive run going when they take on Gujarat Giants.

The 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 the Juggernauts will not be underestimating their opponents, heading 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 the Juggernauts captain Dipesh More.

Meanwhile much like the Yoddhas, the Giants too will look to stop their 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.

Both the semi-finals will be played on Thursday from 7:30 pm IST with all the live action telecasted on the Sony Sports Network and Sony LIV.