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Contest of effervescent teams- Haryana Steelers vs Jaipur Pink Panthers.
This will be a TIE
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: The Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Centre, Bengaluru.Bet Now
A juicy affair awaits us as the 4th placed Haryana Steelers take on 5th placed Jaipur Pink Panthers. The Steelers although have played a game more, lead by 3 points. Jaipur Pink Pathers got back to winning ways after they lost to the Bengal Warriors. They rebooted themselves by beating Patna Pirates and Dabang Delhi thus becoming giant-killers.
Haryana Steelers beat the defending champions Bengal Warriors effortlessly. Vikash Khandola’s super 10 topped off with some excellent defensive work which earned the Steelers a huge 17 point victory. The Jaipur Pink Panthers will rely on the exploits of raider Arjun Deshwal and Deepak Hooda while the Steelers will push Vikash, Meetu and Vinay to hunt and prey. The Pink Panthers have improved a lot as far as their defense is concerned but the Steelers seem to have the guardians of the mat. Jaideep is among the best defenders of the season and he will be a tough one to escape from. The best bet for the Pink Panthers would be to keep this a low scoring game.
The JSW owned side have shown that they can be a force to reckon with this season. Winning 7 games, and drawing 3, they currently sit on 48 points. They seem to be peaking at the right time. This young and dynamic bunch has shown grit, enthusiasm and great fitness this season. Every player has chipped in with points when it mattered.
We all know Surender Nada’s defensive capabilities, but Jaideep has been the star of the team in that department. He has now scored 49 successful tackles in 16 games along with 4 High-5’s. Another defender who’s impressed this season is Mohit. He has 2 High-5’s and 37 tackle points, making this trio a tough one to score against.
Raider Vikash Khandola has led the dynamic group of raiders with his 135 points. He has been duly supported by Rohit Gulia and Meetu. Both have notched 67 and 66 points respectively.
Their defence which could arguably be the best in the league will have to stand tall once again versus the Panther Deepak Hooda. Keeping him under control will give the Steelers an edge to close out the game.
Steelers have a 39.42% raiding efficiency, with 259 successful raids out of 657. They also have a 39.84% tackle success rate which is fourth best in the league.
The Steelers had a minor setback as they lost to the Fortune Giants and they will look forward to repeating those mistakes when they clash with the Pink Panthers.
Tournament veterans Jaipur Pink Panthers have had a rocky first half to the season, but they have managed to get back on track. After a win versus the table toppers, their confidence will be reignited as they push to make the play-offs with 7 games remaining.
Raider Arjun Deshwal has been a revelation this season. Scoring 175 raid points, he ranks third in the league only behind hi-flyer Pawan Sehrawat and Maninder Singh. He has also scored 11 super-10s in his 15 games and has proved that the team can rely on him to get quick points. His success rate during Do-or-Die raids has also been very impressive, leading the league with 37 points.
All Rounder Deepak Hooda on the other hand has been inspiring, scoring 90 points from his 13 appearances. Along with Sandeep Dhull, Vishal and Sahul Kumar, the Panthers have put in some top defensive performances. Consistency is where they will have to work on in their last 7 games.
The Panthers boast a 41.38% successful raiding percentage which is the third best in the league. They have inflicted 17 all-outs and conceded the same. Panthers should look to inflict more all-outs if they wish to cement their place in the play-offs.
The two teams last met on Christmas day this season where the Pink Panthers edged a win by just 2 points. Steelers will look to avenge their loss and stay above their rivals. Arjun Deshwal scored a mammoth 18 points the last time these two teams met. The Steelers will have to try to keep him off the mat for as long as they can.
Both the teams have been impressive in the last 2 weeks. The Haryana Steelers have lost just one match in their last five games. Similarly the Pink Panthers have become giant killers as they decimated stronger teams with ease. Arjun Deshwal is difficult to handle for the opposition and he has been in sublime form. Steelers defenders will have to plan for hunting him down early. But the Pink Panthers will have a tough time trapping “the Gazel” Vikash Kandola as he is very quick, agile and smart.
This might very well be a Vikash Khandola versus Arjun Deshwal face-off. The only way to tackle them is keep them off the mat as long as possible.
Though the Steelers lost to the Pink Panthers last time, the difference was of just 2 points. Their defense looks much more settled than the Pink Panthers.
The Steelers are currently a well oiled machine and may just pull off a win. But it won’t be an easy affair at all.
This will be a TIE
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