Bengal Darts Tour – 3
Final Group Standings and Knockout Fixtures
Group A & B – Match Results (Day 3)
Match 1 – Avengers Vs Sharpshooters
The Avengers have been disappointing this edition – Can they keep their slim hopes alive? Even if they win they will need a few other results to fall in their favor to go through to the Knockout Stages. The Sharpshooters will be looking to cement their spot at the top of Group A.
Captain Jolly Chanda and Kumarial Singh kick off proceedings with a Mixed Doubles win against Mudit and Vedika. The Sharpshooters push further by taking the Open Doubles with in-form Soumya Dutta and Hemant Chattbar beating Mayur and Shatadru of the Avengers. In the final Open Singles Raahat Kapoor beats Mohan Goel in a game that would be of zero relevance. The Sharpshooters win 2-1.
The Sharpshooters have topped Group A while last editions Runner’s Up – The Avengers have crashed out of the tournament.
Match 2 – Ditviaan Vs Kairon Darters
Here is a must win for both teams – they have bounced back from bad starts to give themselves a chance for the knockout stages – all culminating to their final group match.
Ditviaan are playing the long game here by sending Sneha and Savinder in the Mixed Doubles up against Farman and Sneha. Kairon take a 1-0 lead. Hrithik and Sandeep bring Ditviaan back on level terms against Rajesh and Dhruv setting up an exciting Open Singles match between “Sir” Ankit Goenka and Deepak Jain. “Sir” does the needful and takes a tightly fought game to send Kairon crashing out and gives Ditviaan another shot at the final prize.
Match 3 – Royal Super Knights Vs Warriors
The Royal Super Knights are arguably the best team in Group A. A shock loss to Ditviaan pushed their plans of the tracks a bit but a win here would see them with a top spot finish. The Warriors need to hold on to their final knockout spot if they take at least an event.
In a shocking turn of events, the Warriors Vidhul and Mahi take the Mixed Doubles event against Viral and Nikita to give the Warriors a 1-0 early lead. Captain Writam and Clinton come up next in the Open Doubles against Tanmoy and Utpal – The Warriors get the win and with it an unassailable 2-0 event lead in the match. Piyush pulls an event back for the Super Knights against Shantanu to end the match with a 2-1 scoreline in favor of the Warriors.
With this upset victory the Warriors leapfrog the Royal Super Knights into 2nd place while the Super Knights who were sitting pretty at the top fall two spots down to the 3rd spot. Sharpshooters confirm the 1st spot due to a Super Knights loss and Ditviaan hang on to the 4th and final spot thanks to their win over Kairon.
Match 4 – Dartmeisters Vs Trihoot Rockers
With both teams needing wins to guarantee their spot in the knockout stages this is going to be a mouth watering tussle.
The Rockers go up strong with Vikash and Asha partnering up against Puja and Abnish of the Dartmeisters. The Rockers take an early 1-0 lead. The Dartmeisters pull it back to 1-1 through Vishal and Sayak who take out Rahul Panja and Rahul Burman. In the decisive Open Singles Dartmeisters captain Vikash Jhajharia beats Ankit Shaw to give us a final scoreline of 2-1 to the Dartmeisters.
The Dartmeisters have cemented their spot in the knockout stages and the Trihoot Rockers will have to wait for the results of the Tungsten Creed and Shedsters match to know if they go through or not.
Match 5 – Tea Mates Vs Dart Lords
Tea Mates have been perfect so far, with their only loss coming in a last leg decider to the Shedsters, they are almost assured of taking the top spot of Group B if they manage to win 3-0. The Dart Lords on the other hand are the only team not fighting for a knockout spot and will be playing to salvage some pride.
Tea Mates send out Tilak and Asha as their Mixed Doubles pairing up against Prangon and Sunaina. Tea Mates up 1-0. Siddharth and Abhishek push the event count up to 2-0 after a win against Ankita and Rohit in the Open Doubles. While Tea Mates captain Aman Sondhi takes out Shuvankar of the Dart Lords to claim another white wash 3-0 and cement their place on top of Group B.
Match 6 – Shedsters Vs Tungsten Creed
The Shedsters will have to take this win to lock up the 2nd spot in Group B while Tungsten Creed face a do or die match which will decide their fate for the rest of the tournament.
The Shedsters field Nitin and Jacqueline in the Mixed Doubles against Nivedita and Dishant of the Creed. Shedsters lead 1-0. The Creed pull the scoreline back to level terms through Abhishek and Sunanada who beat Binoy and Manoj. The final Open Singles event saw Sangam Kumar Roy of the Shedsters going up against Kriti Chugh of Tungsten Creed. Sangam takes the win and sends Tungsten packing while cementing the Shedsters 2nd spot in the Group B standing with a 2-1 victory.
Tea Mates take the top spot in Group B while the Shedsters win gets them the 2nd spot. The overall leaders Dartmeisters hang on to 3rd while the Rockers snatch the final spot thanks to Tungstens loss at the hands of the Shedsters.
Group B – Match Results (Day 2)
Match 1 – Dartmeisters Vs Dart Lords
The Dartmeisters with a surprising start to the BDT-3 after two losses on Day 1 faces a Dart Lords team that also find themselves in the same situation. Who takes this?
The Dartmeisters send in Sahana and Kaushik as their Mixed Doubles pair up against Sunaina and Sailesh of the Dart Lords. The Dartmeisters draw first blood 1-0. A strong Open Doubles pairing follows for the Dartmeisters with Vikash and in-form Sayak up against Prangon and Shuvankar. The Dartmeisters take the win and match with a 2-0. The final Open Singles features Vishal Mehta of the Dartmeisters and Deepak Chowdhury of Dart Lords. The Dartmeisters administer the white wash with a 3-0 win and ironically their first of BDT-3.
The Dart Lords went alright with their lineup here – you cant do much when a team isn’t performing. The Dartmeisters have gotten into groove when it was highly needed – Lets see if they can maintain the momentum.
Match 2 – Tea Mates Vs Tungsten Creed
Tea Mates have been a refreshing add to the Bengal Darts Tour. With an uber-flexible lineup and using that to their players strengths they have not only surprised everyone but have also put their players in the best positions to win. Tungsten will be looking to make it three wins in a row and a win against the Tea Mates would be making a statement. Yes – they would prove me wrong after what I wrote at the Post-Auction Team Review. There’s a small bead of sweat on my brow now.
Team Mates use Saran and Asha as their opening Mixed Doubles pair going up against Creed’s Kriti and Saubhadra. Tungsten go up 1-0. The strong duo of Tilak and Siddharth are back for the Team Mates going up against Sunanda and Sanjeev of the Creed. Tea Mates push it to a decider making it 1-1. Captain Aman Sondhi of Tea Mates faces Abhishek Dhanuka and takes the win and his team across the line for a 2-1 victory.
Tungsten went with a questionable lineup here. The Tea Mates have a balanced team and get you in every event. No matter what, you will have to beat them rather than line up better against them. With their first two wins compiled partly due to their Open Doubles success with Tilak and Siddharth – why would you take that pair on? Instead go – Abhishek / Sunanada in the Mixed and Kriti in the Open Singles. I’m not saying that this lineup could win for sure but Kriti is a Singles specialist and seeing her does give me more confidence. The Tea Mates are just doing what they are supposed to – play according to their lineup and their strengths, their players are performing as they are comfortable in the spots they are in – what else could you need? they’re building up a storm before the knockouts. They will have to find out what lineup works for them by then though.
Match 3 – Shedsters Vs Trihoot Rockers
The Shedsters and Trihoot Rockers are coming into this games with totally different views from the points table – one looking down and the other looking up. With the Rockers still having game changers in their roster – will they be able to put a halt to the Shedsters march up the standings?
The Shedsters field Sangam and Jacqueline in the Mixed Doubles while the Rockers begin with Vikash and Asha. Vikash and Asha take a big win for the Rockers to put the pressure on the Shedsters. Nitin and Veer of the Shedsters take out Rahul Panja and Amit Mehta of the Rockers to set up a decider at one a piece. Ankit Shaw of the Rockers takes the tie against Arjun Bhadra to land Rockers their first win of the tournament in a big upset and thereby keeping their hopes of a knockout berth alive.
The Shedsters went with the normal lineup that would be expected from them (I say this because it’s my team ofcourse 🙂 but in hindsight maybe I was wrong). A Sangam and Jackie pairing would be expected to win most matches but against Vikash and Asha – doubtful. The Open Singles would be favored to Arjun Bhadra who is the more established player but Ankit played a great game and took him out. The Rockers went the right way in the lineup – choosing to go strong in two events rather than split the Vikash and Asha pairing which would have definitely game them another game in the loss column. Good stuff. I like losing… sometimes… 🙂
Match 4 – Tungsten Creed Vs Dartmeisters
The Dartmeisters need to win this to keep their hopes alive. Tungsten on the other hand will hope that they win this to confirm their spot in the knockouts. Who wins?
The Dartmeisters go into the Mixed Doubles with Sayak and Sahana facing up against Abhishek and Nivedita – Tungsten pick up an early 1-0 advantage. Tungsten then go in with Kriti and Sunanda up against Dartmeisters Vishal and Kaushik. The Dartmeisters pull this game off and push it to a decider. Captain Vikash Jhajharia does the needful and keeps his team in the hunt beating Saubhadra Dasgupta of Tungsten Creed and a final scoreline of 2-1.
Tungsten have gone wrong here while the Dartmeisters went perfect. The Dartmeisters are playable now only because their players aren’t firing – you will have to take advantage of that. If you have to play Nivedita now why use Abhishek there? Yes – they won that event, but they needed Abhishek to be in a position to win them the game rather than keep them in it. Saubhadra / Nivedita up top. You then predict a Sayak / Vikash / Vishal with either Kaushik or Abnish (As they have to play all their players) you then have Abhishek, Sunanda and Kriti. Go with Abhishek and Sunanda in the Open Doubles and leave Kriti for the Open Singles. I think this would have worked out better.
Match 5 – Shedsters Vs Tea Mates
A match between the two best teams in the group and maybe the top spot hanging by a thread? Tea Mates have won because of their team composition and line up superiority. While the Shedsters have won just through their top heavy roster.
The Shedsters go in first with their Mixed Doubles pairing of Jacqueline and Veer while Tea Mates field Aman and Asha. Tea Mates go up 1-0. In the Open Doubles, Nitin and Arjun of the Shedsters get the better of Abhishek and Karan of the Tea Mates to set up a deciding event. The mouth watering Open Singles rubber sees two top players in Tea Mates Tilak and Sangam of the Shedsters taking on each other. Sangam get over the line on this day and hands the Shedsters a 2-1 win.
The Tea Mates went in with a good lineup considering they would have to bench Siddharth Deb Roy. Both the Mixed and Open Doubles were just appetizers to the main course which was the Singles. Both players played really well and this might have been a different result on another day. This was the best game of Group B so far in terms of quality and the last Open Singles had a lot to do with it.
Match 6 – Trihoot Rockers Vs Dart Lords
The Trihoot Rockers have found a way to cling on while the Dart Lords are effectively the first team to be knocked out of the competition. Can they upset the Rockers and their hopes of staying alive in the competition?
The Rockers field Asha and Rahul in the Mixed Doubles up against Sunaina and Rohit of the Dart Lords. Trihoot up 1-0. Vikash and Sanjay come in for the Rockers up against Ankita and Deepak in the Open Doubles – Trihoot Rockers take the win 2-0 with the Open Singles remaining where Ankit of the Rockers takes on Prangon of the Dart Lords. The Rockers bring in the brooms for a clean sweep 3-0.
The Rockers went with a well balanced lineup and had a chance to take all three events. This is honestly where they are at their weakest and have the most chances of being upset. Against the Dart Lords they took that chance and it worked in their favor – The Rockers have gone with two lineups and that to according to their opponents potential lineups. They’re picking up pace and this should bode well for their last remaining match.
Group A – Match Results (Day 2)
Match 1 – Avengers Vs Kairon Darters
With both teams erring on strategy last time around – The Avengers are looking to build on their solitary win from Day-1. Kairon on the other hand are trying to get off the blocks. Let’s see what transpired –
Avengers go strong in the Mixed Doubles with Raahat Kapoor and Vedika Sureka only to find Farmanul Haque and Sneha Srivastava up to the challenge from Kairon. Avengers fall 0-1. The Open Doubles sees Avengers put forth Mayur and Shatadru up against Vinamra and Deepak. Kairon take the event to lead 2-0 and in process their first win of the tournament. Mudit takes out Rajesh Chandan in the final Open Singles rubber to end the match at a 2-1 scoreline in favor of Kairon.
Alright – I’ll try and be civil here. Kairon went in with a good lineup, going strong up top and it got the result they needed. Avengers on the other hand – What’s going on?!?! Where is the analysis? Kairon has Farman, Deepak, Vinamra and Sneha as established names. Two of them will come in the Mixed. So avoid the Mixed Doubles!! When all your players aren’t firing, at least make the lineups right – give yourself the best shot to win. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Apologies – but a tried pairing that has performed decently has been Mudit and Mayur with Raahat coming down in the Singles. If you had to use only one bench player – play them in the Mixed where you might have to play Farman – who is obviously the best performing player on both teams. The current Runners up have one step out of the door and they have almost the same team from the last edition.
Match 2 – Ditviaan Vs Warriors
Ditviaan are up next against the Warriors – will they get the that one win they desperately require in the “Win” Column? We’ll have to see.
Ditviaan do the unthinkable against the Warriors stacked roster by putting up Ankit and Sneha up against Writam and Mahi. Warriors go up 1-0. Rahul Shaw and Savinder Singh start the Open Doubles against Jayat Misra and Shantanu Das. Rahul and Savinder pull off a huge upset to keep the match alive and push it to a decider. Hrithik from Ditviaan gets the better of Vidhul to give Ditviaan their first win of the tournament.
So there was a lot of pressure on Ankit to win the Mixed – he lost. Rahul and Savinder were a throw in and they beat seasoned campaigners in Jayat and Shantanu. That left Hrithik to take out Vidhul who hasn’t been playing his best darts for a while. Both teams have put up questionable lineups but eventually it was the Warriors bad performance that resulted in the loss. Ditviaan would be happy though, you take the win no matter how ugly it comes.
Match 3 – Royal Super Knights Vs Sharpshooters
The Royal Super Knights and the Sharp Shooters face off – both teams won their first two games convincingly. So who takes their first loss of the BDT-3?
The Royal Super Knights bring in Akash Baid and Nikita Mittal as their opening pair up against Mohan Goel and Jolly Chanda. They go down 0-1. Captain Viral Mehta steps in partnering Utpal Ghosh in the Open Doubles against Hemant Chattbar and Gautam Jhangiani. The Super Knights pull a game back and force a decider. Piyush Bosmia for the Royal Super Knights takes the game and gives the Super Knights a third win after beating Kumarial Singh of the Sharp Shooters.
Both teams go in with solid lineups. With both teams needing to maintain the minimum 2-game quota for all their players they played them in ways that it wouldn’t affect the outcome. Perfect planning by both teams. Sharpshooters would have hoped that Kumarial would have shown the form he had on Day-1 and the Super Knights were depending on Piyush’s experience to see them through.
Match 4 – Warriors Vs Avengers
Both teams have lost their previous games of the day and will be looking to bounce back. Lets see what happens.
The Warriors go in with Vidhul and Mahi up against Mudit and Vedika. Warriors take the Mixed Doubles for an early advantage 1-0. The Open Doubles sees Writam Basu and Clinton Khanna take on Raahat Kapoor and Mayur Agarwal. Warriors take the win and the match 2-0. In the Open Singles Abhishek Chowdhury of the Warriors beats Nada Yasmeen to complete the whitewash.
In my eyes, this was a fight between the two most underwhelming teams so far this season and the team with the better roster took it. The strategy has been bonkers for the Avengers – Why break a Mudit and Mayur pairing? Is that Mixed Doubles so important that you’re willing to take on Writam if he comes and pair Mudit with an inconsistent Vedika? I’d fancy a Mudit and Mayur pairing over any other two from the Warriors – just my say. And Raahat to clean it up later as Writam would not be able to come at the end because of how his roster has been performing. If you had to play Nada, why in the Open Singles where she is least effective? She is a capable player who can support and she might not have been needed in this game but is very handy to have. The strategists should think what they want to do on first instinct – write that on a piece of paper and throw it in the dustbin – then sit and actually do it again with a different lineup. Didn’t expect this from an almost similar team that reached the finals the last edition. And the Warriors – Good call sending Writam and Clinton in the Open Doubles to face a Mudit / Mayur pairing – they took out the captain instead. Guess someone has been reading my views on Clintons game. I’m impressed.
Match 5 – Royal Super Knights Vs Ditviaan
The Royal Super Knights are undefeated so far while Ditviaan are on a high after winning their first game of the tournament. Here we go.
RSK’s Viral Mehta and Nikita Mittal take on Sandeep and Sneha of Ditviaan and take an early win 1-0. The Open Doubles sees Hrithik and Rahul of Ditviaan pull back a game against Akash and Ankit for a 1-1 scoreline. Didn’t I just say something resembling Ditivaan doing the unthinkable? The decider sees “Sir” Ankit Goenka taking on Piyush Bosmia of the Super Knights. “Sir” reels in Ditviaans second win of the day and the Royal Super Knights have fallen 2-1.
This strategy from Ditviaan was either pure class or the biggest blind poker call that can be made. Ankit going in the singles? Seriously? The Super Knights will be kicking themselves after that Open Doubles loss. No matter what happened, it shouldn’t have gone to a decider. Once a Tiger has tasted blood, it craves for more. That’s what you get from players of the stature of Ankit Goenka once they taste victory. I’m sorry Piyush bhaiya, your team let you down this time.
Match 6 – Sharpshooters Vs Kairon Darters
With both teams on opposite sides of the spectrum, the Sharpshooters just lost their first match of the tournament while Kairon just won their first game. Do we see the another repeat? Or will anyone warrant a change in fortunes?
The Sharpshooters field Jolly Chanda and Gautam Bhuyan in the Open Doubles against Farmanul Haque and Sneha Srivastava. Kairon pick up the win and an early lead 1-0. Vinamra and Dhruv of Kairon then face Mohan Goel and Gautam Jhanghiani to take the win but fall short. The Sharpshooters force a decider. It now falls onto Kairon’s Deepak Jain and Kumarial Singh from the Sharpshooters. Deepak takes the game and Kairon have now won two in a row while the Sharpshooters are back to a even record.
Both teams went in with decent lineups. Farman and Mohan avoided each other and it went to a decider. Kumarial, with a chance to get them over the hump, failed for a second consecutive time. This will have to be a point of concern for the Sharpshooters as they left out Soumya Dutta for two straight games following his great play on Day 1. Kumarial won both games on Day-1 after the top two events were locked up. On this day though – he hasn’t been able to handle the pressure. Decisions, decisions – they really seem to be needed only when we lose.
Group B – Match Results
Match 1 – Dartmeisters Vs Tea Mates
We have the overall leaders Dartmeisters taking on the new kids on the block – Tea Mates. Let’s see how Group B kicks off –
The Dartmeisters bring in Vikash and Sahana in their Mixed Doubles only to fall against Aman Sondhi and Asha Bosmia in a tight tussle. Tea Mates get off to a great start 1-0. Tea Mates have a strong doubles duo in Tilak Saboo and Siddharth Deb Roy up against Abnish Agarwal and Puja Sahni – they end up winning the match 2-0 in what would be the biggest upset of the BDT-3 so far. Adding more fuel to the fire – Saran Casyab beats Dartmeisters Vishal Mehta in the last game to enforce a 3-0 whitewash.
Both team’s strategies were actually spot on – The Dartmeisters lost this due to poor performances all around and honestly with the roster they have, that’s the only way to take them out. Tea Mates took the advantage early and held on. An amazing start for the new franchise after beating arguably the best performing franchise of the last year.
Match 2 – Dart Lords Vs Shedsters
The Dart Lords enter this edition with an imbalanced team but do have match-winners in “Little Wonder” Sunaina Mitra and former National Champion Ankita Upadhyay. But here they go up against a powerhouse in the Shedsters who are expected to be in the running to win the tournament. Let’s see how the match unraveled.
The Dart Lords pair up Ankita and Sailesh together up against Sangam and Jacqueline and see themselves down 0-1. The Open Doubles saw Nitin and Manoj of the Shedsters beating Sunaina and Rohit to give the Shedsters the win and an unassailable lead 2-0. Arjun Bhadra makes it 3-0 and a clean sweep with a win against Prangon of the Dart Lords in the Open Singles.
Right now, the Shedsters have arguably the best combinations for Mixed Doubles with the option to swap Sangam for Nitin or Arjun. All these combinations would have been hard for the Lords to take on. So it would have made sense for them to use that game as a giveaway. Unfortunately, the way their roster is built it would have meant losing Ankita or Sunaina but that’s the risk you take – who isn’t performing up to the mark – you put them there and a filler. Place Prangon and Sailesh in the Open Doubles and put pressure on the last event – Open Singles. Could Dipak have been used? Rohit did perform but maybe it’s something they can ponder upon for later games.
Match 3 – Trihoot Rockers Vs Tungsten Creed
Both teams are coming off disappointing results from the BDT-2 and have very different teams this time around. Who takes their first win of the BDT-3?
Asha Mehta and Ankit Shaw of the Rockers start off up against the Creeds Sunanada Bhattacharya and Abhishek Dhanuka. Thungsten Creed draw first blood 1-0. The Rockers field in Vikash Kothari and Rahul Panja who tie the game up at 1-1 after a win against Dishant Thakkar and Saubhadra Dasgupta. The Open Singles features Kriti Chugh of Tungsten Creed facing Rahul Burman of the Rockers – Tungsten Creed win 2-1.
Tungsten Creed have two established Ladies players in Kriti Chugh and Sunanda Bhattacharya. They then have decent support players in Saubhadra and Dishant. While adding to the mix a player who can lead at times as well in Abhishek Dhanuka. Through this they would always keep a strong Mix Doubles pairing. Vikash and Asha could have gone up here to gain an early advantage. Now with Rahul Panja, Ankit Shaw, Rahul Burman, Sanjay Todi and Amit Mehta laying in wait – why not go for a Rahul Panja and Ankit Shaw pairing – Yes, you do leave your Open Singles up to your weakest players but with this lineup you have the best chance of taking the first two games. If Kriti came in the Open Doubles, it was still a toss up in the Open Singles. This way – you at least have a half chance in the Singles. I feel Rahul Burman walked into a gunfight holding a blunt kitchen knife.
P.S. – Is it wrong for me to have secretly been hoping for a Kriti – Vikash matchup? Give the viewers what they want!! Booooooo!!
Match 4 – Shedsters Vs Dartmeisters
Both teams are favored to take the crown – with Shedsters winning their first game relatively easily and the Dartmeisters having a hiccup first time around, lets see if they get to bounce back in this mammoth match that might affect the whole Group B standings.
The Shedsters start off in the Mixed Doubles with Sangam and Jacqueline going up against Sayak and Sahana. The Shedsters take an early 1-0 lead. The Dartmeisters then field a strong duo of Vikash Jhajharia and Vishal Mehta against Shedsters Nitin Kumar and Binoy Choudhary. The Dartmeisters pull a game back to make it 1-1 leaving it to Puja Sahni and Arjun Bhadra to get either team the win. Arjun Bhadra takes the win and gives the Shedsters their second win while the Dartmeisters, with two losses on opening day will be looking to go all guns blazing on day 2.
The Dartmeisters went with a good lineup, Sayak is a great player alongside Sahana Agarwal, who is not too bad herself. But they face a juggernaut in Sangam Roy and Jacqueline Khanna. The Open Doubles was a great move putting a strong lineup against Nitin and they did end up with the win. Puja though couldn’t take the win. This is the thing with the Shedsters – One ladies player can be a disadvantage if you dont have good players surrounding her. But the Shedsters have at least three. They will always be a factor in each event and even though the Dartmeisters fielded the better lineup, the Shedsters were just a stronger team all around.
Match 5 – Tea Mates Vs Trihoot Rockers
With Tea Mates pulling off a huge upset and Trihoot falling – we will have to see which team can continue on their runs.
Tea Mates limp in with a Karan Singh and Asha Bosmia pairing up against Vikash Kothari and Asha Mehta of the Trihoot Rockers. Tea Mates down 0-1. They then field their tried and tested pairing of Tilak and Siddharth up against Sanjay Todi and Amit Mehta to level the game at one a piece. The deciding Open Singles fixture features Tea Mates captain Aman Sondhi up against Ankit Shaw. The captain leads them to the win and a dream start to the BDT-3 ending with a 2-1 victory and leaving the Trihoot Rockers with a lot of questions needing to be answered.
Tea Mates got their lineup on point – they figured out where Vikash would go and called the bluff. The rest as they say is history. Two wins in two matches – who could have wanted more? Good stuff. There is nothing the Rockers could have done here – they have the weaker team overall and would have needed a lineup botch from the Tea Mates to make it interesting. Even though Vikash took his game – it didn’t affect the Tea Mates as they still had their three best players in tow for the latter games.
Match 6 – Tungsten Creed Vs Dart Lords
Both teams have a unique rosters with their best players arguably being the ladies. Not something that I would complain about – it’s actually refreshing. However, having too many women’s players can also give you lineup issues. Let’s see how the Tungsten Creed fare in this game against the Dart Lords.
Tungsten go strong in the Mixed Doubles putting up front Kriti Chugh and Abhishek Dhanuka against Prangon Chowdhury and Sunaina Mitra of the Dart Lords. The Creed go up 1-0. The Dart Lords pull a game back to 1-1 with Sailesh and Dipak beating Sanjeev Ray and Nivedita Sarkar of Tungsten Creed. The deciding Open Singles saw two of India’s top Ladies players going up against each other – Sunanda Bhattacharya of Tungsten Creed Vs Ankita Upadhyay of Dart Lords. Sunanda takes a huge win and gives Tungsten Creed their second win of the day 1.
The Dart Lords made a huge mistake here – Why Ankita in the Singles? Why not Dipak or Sailesh? I agree that Prangon and Sunaina was correct, but that was to tackle a strong pairing from the Creed. Now your gamble would be to take on either Kriti or Sunanda and win. Sailesh played very well against the Shedsters and should have led the Open Doubles pairing. Ankita should have played with him and Dipak would have been a better option in the Open Singles. Ankita has been off color lately and this has to be kept in mind. She will need the extra support till her game comes back – it’s only a matter of time and letting her face the music and pressure will only delay that. This is a Team Event – not a Singles Tournament.
Group A – Match Results
Match 1 – Avengers Vs Ditviaan
We kick the BDT-3 off with a tantalizing match up front. Last editions Runner’s up – Team Avengers going up against Ditviaan featuring “Sir” Ankit Goenka.
The Avengers will have to stay away from a match up against Ankit and they have. Avengers field their Mixed Doubles pairing of Sauvik Mitra and Vedika Sureka against Ditviaan’s pairing of Ankit Goenka and Sneha Agarwal. Ditviaan take an early 1-0 lead going into the Open Doubles where they have captain Sandeep Chhajer and Hrithik Gupta taking on a strong duo in Mudit Sadani and Mayur Agarwal. Avengers tie things up here and leave it to a last event decider where they have captain Raahat Kapoor up against Vivek Agarwal. Raahat does the needful and gives Avengers their first win of BDT-3.
Avengers had the right lineup here, giving them a chance to win each event. The only way in which Ditviaan could have done anything was manage to get a Ankit Vs Mudit or Raahat event and have an upset in any of the other two events. None of that worked out, but they partly did do the right thing. Hrithik could have played the Singles. I do feel that they need to find out who is their 2nd best player and who is their Singles specialist – if not this match, it will at least aid them in the remaining games.
Match 2 – Kairon Darters Vs Royal Super Knights
Current champions Royal Super Knights will look to start their tourney off with a bang against a Kairon squad comprised of questionable choices and a history of bad decision making. Will this be the season they begin to get their chemistry right? Lets see.
Kairon decide to go strong with a Farman and Sneha duo up against Viral and Nikita of the Super Knights. Super Knights go up 1-0. Vinamra and Deepak then pull a game back for Kairon after taking out “MVP” Akash and Tanmoy. This leaves RSK new addition Piyush Bosmia up against Kairon’s Shiv Pandit and as expected Royal Super Knights start their campaign off with a win.
Kairon, Kairon, Kairon…. Farman is your best player, Sneha and Vinamra are not up to the mark yet and though they might give a 110%, if you are not in form, you’re not in form and there is nothing you can do about it apart from give time on the board and get out of that funk. Deepak is an interesting player and is playing well at the moment. It’s enticing if I think about what could have been – Vinamra / Sneha, then Farman / Shiv and Deepak in the Open Singles. Put Vinamra and Sneha together because they don’t have anything to lose – the players in the opening game have the least pressure and that’s where they need to be. Could this have given the mighty Super Knight lineup a fight? Yes.
Match 3 – Warriors Vs Sharp Shooters
After a forgettable BDT-2, the Warriors return with a balanced lineup and are looking good to make some waves in BDT-3. The Sharp Shooters have also gotten a much better overall team. Who will take this?
Warriors start of with Vidhul and Mahi pairing up against Jolly and Bobby. Sharp Shooters lead 1-0. Writam and Abhishek then pair up for the Warriors against Mohan and Soumya of the Sharp Shooters only to see the latter take the event and an unassailable lead in the match 2-0. Kumarial from the Sharp Shooters then completes the white wash with a win against Clinton of the Warriors to make it 3-0.
So, where do I start with the Warriors – Shantanu, arguably the best player of BDT-2 for them and their retained player sits. Jayat Misra who had an amazing BDT-2 sits. So, a better lineup must be the reason for such folly – Vidhul up top with Mahi. When the Sharpshooters have Jolly and they have players in Kumarial and Mohan who can pair up with her – was the Vidhul and Mahi pairing a giveaway? If not, it doesn’t make sense. Writam comes in the Open Doubles with Abhishek while Jayat and Shantanu are on the bench – doesn’t make sense. Clinton coming in the Open Singles – doesn’t make sense. This cannot happen – it’s a utterly poor lineup against a team that is definitely beatable. Mahi is young and needs a good scorer and stable head with her to perform better – why not Writam and Mahi? You have Jayat and Clinton / Vidhul in the Open Doubles. All are decent scorers and are good supports. With Clinton quite steady and not one to succumb to pressure which Vidhul and Jayat are guilty of at times, to me he becomes an automatic entry into that crucial 2nd event just because we know what we can expect from him. And finally, Shantanu – someone who won games for the team single-handedly last edition would go in the Singles. Could this lineup have taken on the Sharp Shooters? Duh!!
Match 4 – Avengers Vs Royal Super Knights
A repeat of last years finals on the cards already? The Super Knights have more weapons up their sleeve this time and will be much stronger of an opposition to each and every team. Who takes this mouth-watering tungsten tussle?
The Royal Super Knights strike first with Piyush and Nikita beating Sauvik and Nada in the Mixed Doubles. The Open Doubles see Avengers duo of Mudit and Mayur extend their dominating streak by taking out Tanmoy and Ankit. And this leads the game to a decider where both the captains stand waiting – Viral of the Super Knights takes the win against Raahat Kapoor and leads his team to a perfect opening day record of two wins in two matches.
Alright, Raahat going last – not against a team that can actually make the MVP sit out and still dominate. This is not the RSK of old. I do understand the mentality but its now too predictable. Mudit normally comes in the Open Doubles as his pairing with Mayur is great. They’d not want to mess around with whats working for them. RSK have Viral and Piyush and both of them are crucial to the teams success but lets not kid about this – Viral is the best player on both teams. It would only be best for the Avengers to avoid him or go up against him knowing that they could win. In that way I feel this lineup was perfect – they thought they’d avoid Viral and Raahat went in the singles to hopefully play Piyush. But it’s too predictable and has been done before a lot more than it should have been. The Super Knights called their bluff, robbed them of all their chips and walked out with a cheeky grin on their face.
Match 5 – Ditviaan Vs Sharp Shooters
Ditviaan have had a forgettable opening match against Avengers and will be looking to get back to winning while the Sharp Shooters will look to continue their good form after beating a very good team in the Warriors.
Ditviaan start off with a Hrithik and Sneha pairing up against Jolly and Bobby. Ditviaan quickly find themselves in a hole at 1-0 down. Ankit and Vivek then pair up in the Open Doubles against Mohan and Soumya only to lose the event and go down 2-0 thereby losing the match. In a meaningless rubber, Kumarial completed another whitewash for the Sharp Shooters after taking out Sandeep Chhajer in the Open Singles and giving the Sharp Shooters a rare “perfect” day.
Why do I feel that this should have actually been Ditviaans lineup against the Avengers? Well, the Sharp Shooters and the Avengers are totally different teams with different strengths and Ditviaan couldn’t even put a dent on them. Alright – Jolly is arguably the best women’s player in the tournament – so you normally would enter into a game against her from behind. So wouldn’t Ankit have to pair with Sneha to snatch that event contribution that Jolly can definitely provide her team? I personally think their 2nd best player would be Hrithik. While Sandeep and Vivek are above average supports they’d take only one gamble by putting them together – if Mohan comes in with Soumya in a repeat of the first match, they’d have to play out of their skins to beat them but that gives Hrithik a game against Kumarial who they would prefer him to face anyways instead of Mohan. So, again – why Sandeep at the end? There is no room for error as they don’t have a great team – the roster is imbalanced and Ankit will have to do too much – at least let him play in lineups according to the opponents roster and not according to how the team is playing. There are two ways to go about this – when you dont have a great team – you at least provide your best players with the best chance to win an event for the team. You cannot put them anywhere and hope the rest of the team plays well – that’s not how it’s done.
Match 6 – Warriors Vs Kairon Darters
Both teams had questionable strategies last game – will they bounce back here? Who will get their first win?
The Warriors begin the match with a Clinton and Mahi pairing in the Mixed Doubles going up against Vinamra and Sneha. Clinton and Mahi take the event and give Warriors the lead 1-0. The Open Doubles sees Writam and Jayat of the Warriors going up against Deepak and Shiv of Kairon. 2-0 to the Warriors. Farman wins the solitary event for Kairon against Shantanu to end the match with a 2-1 scoreline to the Warriors.
Vinamra and Sneha should have taken the Mixed Doubles. They aren’t playing well off late and that’s understandable but Clinton with Mahi is a great pairing because Clinton plays calm and Mahi needs that – Good Job. Deepak and Shiv losing to Writam and Jayat while Farman takes out Shantanu – How can Kairons Farmanul Haque, who is by far their best player, play last?!?! Swap Farman for Deepak and Kairon mostly win this match!! This is basically hitting 36 runs of the penultimate over when you need 50 runs to win. What’s the use?!?! Unacceptable strategy but I see this happening quite too often with Kairon who really have to pull up their socks if they are to even make the knockouts. Right now, with games remaining against Avengers and Sharpshooters they’re staring into the barrel of a shotgun.
Match Schedule for the Bengal Darts Tour – 3
The final edition of the Bengal Darts Tour is here concluding a 2018 that not only saw a lot of surprises but also saw the actual jump on the world scene taken by the Indian Darting contingent. This would be called the year that India finally was able to not send most of their best players to play abroad but it was also the one where it was the most impactful by far. The Bengal Darts Tour has given rise to quite a few names in the Indian Darting Circuit, namely – Puja Sahni, Vikash Jhajharia, Sunaina Mitra, Akash Baid, Ankit Chowdhary and Mudit Sadani to name a few. All these players have shown incredible improvement through the last year and I personally hope that this lot and many more become forces to reckon with among the ranks both locally and internationally.
So lets get back to the auction results. After a great BDT-2, Royal Super Knights will be looking to start strong and take over the lead from the overall leaders – Dartmeisters, who had an unfortunate BDT-2 result when they lost a key player to ill-health. BDT-2 Runners-up Avengers will be looking to build on the base they had with Raahat Kapoor and Mudit Sadani and see if they have what it take to take the next step. While we welcome a new team – Tea Mates, into the tournament after the withdrawal of Thunderbolts. Here below are the team rosters after the auction –
As we did it the last time – we judge teams through the following – Star Player Grade + Support Grade + Rotation Grade = Overall Team Grade. With a little success from last editions predictions (apart from my very own), I’d like to take a chance and look into the rosters and delve into the future. Let’s see what I can come up with –
Team 1 – Avengers
Following a great BDT-2 where they found themselves on the losing end due to an upset victory in the last game of the season – The Avengers have retained two very capable players in Raahat Kapoor and Mudit Sadani. How will their roster stack up though?
Star Player Grade – A
Both Raahat and Mudit have always had the potential to take the next step, with Raahat performing well in previous tournaments and the younger Mudit particularly coming of age right now. They have fluidity and chemistry with both of them – they can play each and every event and their positions totally depend on the opponents they face. What else can you ask for? Can they take on better opponents? That will have to be seen but in my eyes they are one of the best duos in the tournament.
Support Grade – A
They picked up decent support players in the auction with the limited points they had left. With a capable Vedika Sureka being their lead female player, having the up and coming Sauvik Mitra, starlet from last editions Thundebolts team – Nada Yasmeen, another good player in Mayur Agarwal and having Shatadru Sarkar as your last pick does point to a decently made roster. Both Vedika and Sauvik can play at a high clip but are inconsistent and will have to be motivated to perform at their best. Nada is a consistent average scorer with the ability to provide high scoring on command. Pair that with a good support player in Mayur Agarwal that can both score and finish under pressure and a decent upcoming player in Shatadru Sarkar and you’ll see why I give them such a high rating.
Rotation Grade – A
Having the option of two female players is a blessing for the Avengers. However, with both Mudit and Raahat capable of playing any event – they will look at Sauvik Mitra to either come in the Mixed and partner Vedika or look at him to clean up in the Open Singles. They also have Mayur Agarwal for the Open Doubles who can be a handful in that scenario. Having Nada and Shatadru in tow to come in when a player is off-color only adds to the depth of the team.
Overall Team Grade – A
The team has quite a few youngsters – with Raahat being the most experienced player of an inconsistent bunch, this team can upset the best and lose to the worst. They will need two players to be great each game – will they be able to do that? Only time will tell.
Team 2 – Dartmeisters
The overall leader, Dartmeisters had arguably the best team in the last edition but couldn’t live up to their expectations following the loss of their key player and captain Vikash Jhajharia due to a bout of sickness. They chose to retain Vikash and Puja Sahni which was very much expected and will be looking to end up on top of the Overall BDT rankings following the event.
Star Player Grade – A+
Lead female player – Check. Lead Male player – They have two, Vikash Jhajharia and a steal in former national champion, Vishal Metha. With Puja arguably the best female player in the BDT, and with a consistent Vikash Jhajharia joining forces with an inform Vishal Mehta, this team is scary. Do I talk about rotations? Nope. Do I talk about strategy? Nope. Do I talk about performances? That’s the only way to get them – if they don’t perform, take them out. This trio will be a match-up nightmare for everyone.
Support Grade – B+
With a capable female player in Sahana Agarwal and having a player with a lot of potential in Sayak Sarkar – I think the Dartmeisters have gotten their plan in place perfectly. With Abnish Agarwal and a diamond in the rough with Kaushik Padhi (Who is nowhere close to being worth only 2 freaking points), the Dartmeisters are in a great position to lock up the tournament. When you have a trio like that up top – a B+ is more than enough. 🙁
Rotation Grade – A+
Can Vikash play any event – Yes. What about Vishal – Yes. But when you take into consideration that Puja can also play any event, now you take it to another level. How do you read their team’s strategy? Sahana playing the Mixed with Puja playing either Open Doubles or Singles? What about Sayak? Does he play with Puja in the Mixed and they still have Vikash and Vishal later on the finish games off? Does it depend on the opponents they play against? Yes. Do they have the capability to nullify what the opponents do? Yes.
Overall Team Grade – A+
There is a reason they are at the top of the standings. Careful and meticulously calculated strategies have been followed to the tee and they have followed a proven strategy so far – have good players, flexible players, have the perfect mixture of playing to their strengths or the opponents weaknesses. With this roster, they have the ability to do all of that. Hai Bhagwan. They are definitely eyeing that overall trophy and I think they have what it takes to get the win.
Team 3 – Ditviaan
Arguably, still the best franchise team in India – they had a below par team in the last edition but eventually lost due to their strategies. They didn’t play to their strengths and eventually paid the price. With the retention of Hrithik Gupta and Sneha Agarwal, they have the base of players to build upon.
Star Player Grade – A
I cannot believe I’m only giving them an “A” since they have “Sir” Ankit Goenka. But that’s the only star power they have. Ankit has been a tremendous performer in the team formats over the years and his ability to switch from Singles to Doubles is unheralded. But, he can give you only one event. Where do they win the other? Let’s see.
Support Grade – B
With a solid player in Hrithik Gupta leading the charge followed by last edition’s winning captain – Sandeep Chhajer and an ever improving Vivek Agarwal, they do have a good crop of players behind Ankit. Unfortunately, I feel they will have to perform to their best each and every time to deliver results. With Sneha capable of supporting well and having Savinder and Rahul to round the team off, the onus will be on Hrithik and Sandeep to make sure that they can get the team that additional game.
Rotation Grade – B
With one solitary female player in Sneha Agarwal, they will have to judge the opponents strategy to see who partners her. Do they go with a Ankit / Sneha on top with a Hrithik / Sandeep in the Open Doubles? Or do they go with a Hrithik and Ankit swap for other teams with lesser known female players? The rotation is predictable – Ankit will have to come in the first two games to keep the team in contention or else their strategy will have to be spot on every time. Everyone knows that such a thing is virtually impossible.
Overall Team Grade – B
Ankit will get them a point. Who will get the other? It will be on the shoulders of Sneha, Hrithik, Sandeep and Vivek. Yes, apart from Ankit, two players will have to be at their best every single game – easier said than done. Lineup and performances are key.
Team 4 – Kairon Darters
After last edition’s Roster, I’d like to say that I expected a lot more from Kairon, both in performance in the last edition and also in this auction. They’ve honestly fallen short in both.
Star Player Grade – B-
Farmanul Haque and Vinamra would be great additions to any team. Farman is throwing his best darts at this junction of his short career but both Vinamra and Sneha have been shells of themselves since the IDF Nationals and BRC tournament results. Yes, Vinamra is young and still has to learn how to cope with pressure and the little nuances of the game that most of the vets have at the tips of their fingers. It’s not fair on him to be put under such pressure but if he does perform and get out of the funk that he is in, it’ll definitely bring a smile to my face. While Sneha is a wonderful Singles player, she is yet to learn how to perform in a team system. It’s an art that a very few players have been able to master, something that is undervalued in today’s age of team building.
Support Grade – C-
Retaining Deepak Jain makes sense, he’s a capable player that can support well and is consistent enough to play the Open Singles and win against weaker opponents. The retention of Rajesh Chandan at 12 points though has handicapped the team, however, they still have 11 points left in the kitty. Adding Shiv Pandit, who is an inconsistent but decent player at times and a young Dhruv Malik who showed flashes of potential in the last edition (but is still too young and a few years from having a direct effect on a result) – this support cannot make a dent against most teams. Notable misses – Ankit Chowdhury for 16points? Saubhadra Dasgupta for 5 points? Abhishek Chowdhury for 9 points? and Jayat Misra for 13 points? This was absolutely criminal.
Rotation Grade – C+
With Sneha taking up shop in the Mixed Doubles event, they will have to get the best out of Farman, Vinamra and Deepak to squeak out a win. Basing this on current form – Farman is the best player. Is he favored to win any of the three events? Yes, the Open Singles. But will the team still have a fighting chance till that event? If Farman goes in the first two events and you have a shaky Sneha, Vinamra or Deepak to take the team to the promised land, would you favor them? No. Not because of their capability but because of their current form.
Overall Team Grade – C
This is unfortunately a decent team with players who are currently out of sorts. About 6 months back, I would have given this team an “A”. Right now, I’ll stick to my “C”, until they prove me wrong. I haven’t been proven wrong many times either.
Team 5 – Royal Super Knights
Last editions champions and currently on 2nd place in the overall team standings – they got their retention done right. Locking up Viral Mehta, who was the steal of the last auction and MVP Akash Baid. How would they fare from there? Let’s have a look.
Star Player Grade – A
You have one of India’s best and inform players in Viral Mehta and you team him up with another good player in Piyush Bosmia and you’ve got a great duo to build your team around. Piyush does tend to be a tad inconsistent but with an overall roster that they have, the confidence to perform in itself will bring the best out of him.
Support Grade – A+
With an impact player in Akash Baid retained, they managed to pick up Ankit Chowdhury for 16 points which was definitely the steal of the auction. He is a player who is on the verge of becoming a star in the darting circuit. He is consistent, handles pressure well and is a flexible player that can move anywhere in the lineup. To top it off they have a capable players in Nikita Mittal and Tanmoy Biswas and Utpal Ghosh to end the roster.
Rotation Grade – A
Having a sole female player can be a disadvantage. Pairing Nikita with either Viral, Piyush or Ankit and having the other two to win the game in the Open Doubles is too predictable. If anyone is upset – you have Akash Baid to finish it off. What else would you require? They are predictable, but few teams lack the firepower to beat them at their own game.
Overall Team Grade – A+
When you have a team that can win each event without breaking a sweat, I’d be stupid not to give them an “A+” rating. With enough players to tackle opponents that have good female players and enough firepower to take a hit and still win the other two events pretty easily, they’ve done an amazing job at the auction. Inconsistency can plague them and performance will be key. They’re definitely one of the favorites to lift the BDT-3 trophy and in process the overall BDT championship.
Team 6 – Sharp Shooters
After their last editions travesty, they made the right choice and retained Jolly Chanda. Will they be able to live up to expectations this time around?
Star Power Grade – A
With Jolly leading from the front they added Mohan Goel to the mix. One of India’s greatest players, Mohan has been in a slump off late but I’ve seen him get back stronger from worse. Just his experience and composure will add a lot for the team.
Support Grade – A
With Kumarial Singh, Gautam Bhuyan and Soumya Dutta they do have great support when required. With Gautam and Hemant being decent players themselves, there is no shortage of support here – its consistency in support that will be the factor.
Rotation Grade – A
I think I’ve pleaded for this before only to fall on deaf ears it seems – please get another female player. Jolly will again have to only play the Mixed Doubles!! She is too good of a player to only be stuck on that single format. Yes, this is a better overall team than that of the last edition, but the problem still remains. With Kumarial and Mohan capable of winning games single-handedly, it’s just too predictable. Kumarial and Jolly Chanda to play the Mixed Doubles against teams with weaker mixed doubles combinations and Mohan pairing with Gautam in the Open Doubles. Soumya will play the Singles. The only swap? Mohan for Kumarial against better Mixed combos and Soumya for Gautam against better open combos. It would be literally impossible to figure them out if they had another female player.
Overall Team Grade – A
They’re a good team that will struggle against the best teams. They should finish middle of their group and should be able to pull off an upset if needed. They have the players to do it. Dangerous team – Yes. A team that can win it all? Unfortunately, no.
Team 7 – Tea Mates
Tea Mates have replaced Thunderbolts for the final edition of the Bengal Darts Tour. Let’s see how they did in their first auction.
Star Player Grade – B
Tilak Saboo has consistently been a good player that has had trouble against the best players. He’s performed well, but hasn’t gotten the desired wins against them. Now, in a different format – he will have to ability to float around and be extremely effective. He is a tough cookie to crack and is very capable of holding his own against the rest of the teams.
Support Grade – B+
Having Aman Sondhi, Siddharth Deb Roy, Saran Casyab and Abhishek Datta – they have good but inconsistent support throughout. Siddharth is a steal who came late in the auction and is definitely worth a few more points. Saran has shown flashes of potential and is a great team player. The ever smiling Abhishek Datta has always been someone who is very expressive and committed to the team he plays for (He’s improved quite a bit by the way). With Asha Bosmia as their lead female player and Karan Kumar filling in the last spot, they do have a decent team that can surprise people.
Rotation Grade – B+
They have players to partner Asha in the Mixed Doubles. They have players to play the Open Doubles and the Singles too. How do you avoid Tilak? Does Siddharth give them a good option in the Singles? Or is Aman the better option? The team will have to first know their strengths. Till then, I think it will be hard for all us of to determine what they can achieve too.
Overall Team Grade – B+
I’d like to repeat what I said above – “They have players to partner Asha in the Mixed Doubles. They have players to play the Open Doubles and the Singles too”. The only question that is bogging my mind down is this – Are they good enough? I don’t think so. I can see them losing games not because of lack of effort but just because the opponents are better than them.
Team 8 – The Dart Lords
The Dart Lords were one of the teams favored to win the BDT-2. They had a lineup glitch and a really bad game and were ousted in the semis by the defending champs – Royal Super Knights. Retaining Sunaina Mitra and Rohit Chowdhury were the right moves to make. Let’s see how their auction fared.
Star Player Grade – B+
“Little Wonder” Sunaina Mitra has been a revelation throughout both the BDT editions and is primed for only success in the sport as she grows older and learns to maintain composure, which of course, comes with experience. Former National Champion Ankita Upadhyay has always been a force to be reckoned with but has not been in the best of forms – being inconsistent mainly. Also, something that I never thought would happen – they do not have a lead male player!!
Support Grade – B
They snagged Dipak, Sailesh and Prangon in the auction. All of them, very good players in their own right but lacking the firepower against top tier and near top tier opponents. With Shuvankar making up the team, they resemble the make up of the Team Mates team. Not player-wise, but in expected results.
Rotation Grade – A
Both Sunaina and Ankita can move around. Having Prangon, Sailesh and Dipak to provide support or take the lead at times only adds to their flexibility.
Overall Team Grade – B
They definitely do have the bodies to put up a fight, but are they fighting a losing battle each and every game? The lowest rated teams have players that can still singlehandedly affect the outcome of an event which is something the Dart Lords do not possess. They will need their lineups to be spot on if they are to win their matches.
Team 9 – Shedsters
Following last editions debacle of bad strategies that resulted in them bowing out in the group stages, how would this edition turn out for them? That is yet to be seen. Let’s have a look at their auction results.
Star Player Grade – A+
They had a strategy in mind and with some luck were able to snag Sangam Kumar Roy and Nitin Kumar. Both heavy scorers and lead players of every team that they have played for. This is the best duo in the BDT. Not the most versatile though – that award still goes to the Dartmeisters.
Support Grade – A
Drafting Jacqueline and another capable player in Binoy Chowdhury to team up with the dangerous Arjun Bhadra, the team has a good support core behind their two star players. Veteran Manoj Nathani and new comer Veer Kundalia rounds off the team.
Rotation Grade – A+
Having a solo female player always handicaps strategy. However, with the ability to partner Jacqueline with a player based on their opponents strength is something the team definitely possesses. The ability to go strong in each event is something that makes them a very strong contingent.
Overall Team Grade – A+
With two lead players able to win their games outright, support in each event, a capable female player – the team will have to work out combinations that work for them. The Shedsters will also join the Dartmeisters and Royal Super Knights one of the favorite teams to win the BDT-3.
Team 10 – Trihoot Rockers
The Trihoot Rockers retained Asha Mehta and Ankit Shaw. With a decent number of points left and a good base to build from how would they go about picking their players?
Star Player Grade – A
Adding Vikash Kothari to the roster gives them not only a top tier player but a strategist as well. With Asha Mehta in the fold who at times needs motivation to perform at her best, they have a good duo that can take the fight to an opponent.
Support Grade – C
Ankit Shaw is a capable player at 6 points and that was why he was retained. After obtaining Vikash at 50 and having 17 remaining points they added Amit Mehta, Rahul Panja, Rahul Burman and Sanjay Todi. Heavy scoring – Nope. Ability to transfer pressure off Vikash = Nope. Downgraded team – Yes.
Rotation Grade – C
When shorthanded on Male support players you should at least have the luxury of keeping two female players on the roster. Asha can then be used in a more effective manner. Well, that isn’t the case and they are left with Asha manning the Mixed Doubles. They are now in a position where against strong Mixed Doubles combos, they will have to gamble on Asha winning while partnering a support player that is sub-par. And they will have to wish that they can take the game which Vikash is not playing in. There are too many if’s and but’s here.
Overall Team Grade – B-
The team doesn’t have an identity – throughout the BDT’s, they have not found a stable footing or process with which to fall back to. Looks like another problem to solve for Vikash, but I guess this time he will have an established player in Asha Mehta to back him up.
Team 11 – Tungsten Creed
Following a good season, the team retained Abhishek Dhanuka and Nivedita Sarkar. Could they have retained Ankit Chowdhury? We will have to see how both sides fare in this edition.
Star Player Grade – B
With Kriti Chugh as your lead female player and following her performance in the last BDT, I’m eager to see her back in the team format. Adding current BRC Champion – Sunanda Bhattacharya, is a questionable decision. She’s a great player, no doubt – But the make up of the team? Lets see that below.
Support Grade – A
You have Abhishek Dhanuka, Dishant Thakkar, Saubhadra Dasgupta, Nivedita Sarkar and Sanjeev Ray – All glorified support players that have their moments with Abhishek Dhanuka definitely being the head of the pack. Who are they supporting though? With 41 points in hand, and getting Sunanda at a clip of 31 (She’s worth it as a ladies player) but when you’ve already gotten Kriti and Nivedita, that value goes down two fold. With Farmanul Haque and Writam Basu still in contention at the time and being snagged at 26 and 25 points respectively, I hope you see how they’ve made it only harder for themselves to challenge the big teams. However, this is an amazing support group and hence, the grade.
Rotation Grade – A
You have both Kriti and Sunanda that can swap the Mixed and play anywhere in the lineup. That gives great versatility without compromising your Mixed Doubles pairing which only happened with the Dartmeisters, when they had both Puja Sahni and Sunaina Mitra on their BDT-1 Roster. However, they had Vikash Jhajharia – a player that could lead them against top tier opponents, while also having a good support group to back them up. This Tungsten team has the backup, but you cannot keep relying on your bench in crucial games.
Overall Team Grade – A-
This team is tough to judge. I can see the appeal of having three female players but it’s honestly not required. I can see the potential they have but I don’t think their players are currently at the level to consistently beat the top teams in the competition. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tungsten Creed reach the semis and I wouldn’t be surprised if they lose out in the group stages either. High Risk-High Reward I guess.
Team 12 – Warriors
Following last editions lackluster performance despite fielding a very good team the Warriors will look for a turn around this edition. They have retained Shantanu Das, who is definitely worth more than 4 points. How did this auction fare for them? Let’s see –
Star Player Grade – A-
This is clearly Writam Basu’s team. He has shown flashes of brilliance so far but has also shown vulnerability against top tier opponents and has come short in crucial games. With Mahi, still having a lot to learn but still performing far beyond her years, this looks to be an exciting pairing.
Support Grade – A+
Bringing in Abhishek Chowdhury, Jayat Misra, Clinton Khanna and Vidhul Goenka to join Shantanu Das – they have the perfect supporting cast that is needed for the team to go the distance. Can they perform against the best? That’s the question.
Rotation Grade – A
You have a solid female player in Mahi Bosmia. A lead player in Writam Basu and more than enough support in Abhishek, Jayat, Clinton, Vidhul and Shantanu. What will be your lineup in crucial games? Who will sit out? It’s a good problem to have but one that has to be solved asap.
Overall Team Grade – A
They can go strong in lineup strategy and having capable players all around puts them in contention to win each event. It will now fall onto the players to perform well against the better teams. They will have to sort out their own strengths and weaknesses before taking apart the other rosters. There are a few glaring ones which I can see and can be sorted. Clinton is a great team player and his spot will be decided on his level of play. Personally for me though, he’s a lock in the roster. Abhishek and Jayat should be in. Vidhul and Shantanu? Do you choose between consistency? Or do you choose ability? Shantanu is the consistent one and has a ceiling currently but you know what you can expect from him. Vidhul, on the other hand, can go well above that ceiling but struggles with inconsistency. They’ll have to sort it out before the tournament starts. They are my dark horses to win the tournament.