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Jaipur Pink Panthers vs Puneri Paltan, Pro Kabaddi (PKL), Today Match Prediction

Dome, NSCI, Mumbai.

Former champions versus the new kids on the block. Welcome to the grand finale!!

  • Jaipur topped the points table while the Puneri Paltan finished 2nd.
  • The Pink Panthers hammered the Bengaluru Bulls in the semi-finals.
  • The Paltan escaped embarrassment as they narrowly beat the Tamil Thalaiva in the semis.

Puneri Paltan will win the title.

Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: Dome, NSCI, Mumbai.

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It is not surprising that the top 2 teams of season 9 entered the summit clash. Jaipur Pink Panthers and the Puneri Paltan were arguably the best teams on the circuit. Both had contrasting experiences in the semi-finals which will influence the way they approach the finals. 

Jaipur and the Paltan have formulated an efficient team with a healthy mix of youngsters and experienced campaigners. The Pink Panthers hammered the Bengaluru Bulls in the semi-finals to reach their 3rd PKL final. They were the inaugural winners of the tournament and they would be dreaming of adding another trophy to their cabinet. The Puneri Paltan fans skipped a heartbeat at the beginning of the semi-finals against the Tamil Thalaiva. The Paltan managed to recover in time to win the match by a margin of just 2 points and enter their maiden final. 

The Puneri Paltan has dominated the Pink Panthers this season. They beat the Pink Panthers twice in the league stage and the Paltan will look forward to a hat-trick that will help them lift their first PKL title. But the Pink Panthers will not be easy pickings for them. Welcome to another exciting summit clash in the PKL.

Jaipur Pink Panthers Preview

The dream run for the Jaipur Pink Panthers continues as they entered the finals of season 9. They have been the best team on the circuit as they topped the points table. Coach Sanjiv Baliyan forged an unbeatable squad out of youngsters and experienced players. They also made sure that the squad did not have many injury issues in the long season. The Pink Panthers won 15 out of their 22 league matches. 

They forced a Tie in their last league match to get a direct entry into the semi-finals where they faced the Bengaluru Bulls. The Jaipur Pink Panthers dominated the semi-finals and tamed the Bulls quite easily. Raider Arjun Deshwal has been the best raider on the circuit but it was veteran V Ajith who set the mat on fire. Ajith scored a Super 10 but it was defender Sahul Kumar who hunted every Bengaluru raider with precision earning a massive Hi 5. Sahul scored 10 tackle points as the Pink Panthers romped into the finals of season 9. 

The Pink Panthers have cultivated a fantastic trio of raiders. Arjun Deshwal has earned 290 raid points this season which includes 17 Super 10’s. Arjun has also executed 7 Super raids this season. Arjun Deshwal was lucky to have the support of veterans like Rahul Chaudhary and V Ajith who played side-kicks to him throughout the season. Rahul Chaudhary completed his 1000 raid points in the PKL while Ajith led the charge in the semi-finals.

But the Jaipur Pink Panthers developed another asset as and that was their defense. Captain Sunil Kumar has been in good form throughout the season along with left corner Sahul Kumar who displayed some sensational ankle holds and back holds in the semi-finals. Left corner Ankush added another dimension to this lineup. The pocket dynamo pocketed 82 successful tackles this season including 9 Hi-5’s. Coach Sanjeev Baliyan played a masterstroke by adding Iranian Reza Mirbagheri to the defense making it totally impregnable.

But the Pink Panthers will face the dangerous Puneri Paltan in the finals. Jaipur has won 10 out of their 20 encounters in the PKL but unfortunately, they lost both their league matches to the Paltan. It was the breakdown of the defense in both matches which hurt the Pink Panthers. But this time Jaipur will be much better prepared to raid the Paltan and grab the trophy for the second time.

Puneri Paltan Preview

The Puneri Paltan has been relatively unsuccessful at the PKL. They have been able to reach the playoff once in a while but otherwise, they never stamped their authority. But they are out of creating history in season 9 as they have romped into the finals to face the Jaipur Pink Panthers. 

The Paltan was consistent throughout the season as they finished 2nd in the points table with 14 victories in 22 league matches. They qualified for the semi-finals directly by virtue of finishing 2nd where they met the Tamil Thalaiva. The Paltan entered the match without their top 2 raiders instead of fielding young Pankaj Mohite and Akash Shinde. This surprised their fans and it almost backfired in the first half. Tamil took the lead by 6 points while inflicting an all-out. Even regular defender Sombir was replaced by Gaurav Khatri. 

Fortunately, the Paltan revived itself in time to win the semi-finals by a margin of 2 points. Pankaj Mohite scored an impressive Super 10 while Akash Shinde could score only 4 raid points. Coach BC Ramesh played the masterstroke by getting Iranian Nabibaksh at the right time to raid. He had used this formula for the Bengal Warriors in 2019 successfully. Nabibaksh compensated Akash Shinde as he scored 3 touch points and a bonus along with 2 tackle points. The Paltan also inflicted a couple of all-outs in the second half to redeem itself and book a spot in the summit clash.

But it will be a tough match for the Paltan as they take on the ruthless Jaipur Pink Panthers. Fortunately, the Paltan has decoded Jaipur twice in the league stage by blunting their defense. Coach BC Ramesh will be expected to use some tricks by introducing Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat in the finals. 

The best defender in the PKL, Sultan Fazel Attrachali will be the hawk keeping a track of the Pink Panthers. He will fly high over their raiders and assist in hunting them down. He has tasted success in the finals with his former team U Mumba and he will look forward to reliving the moment with the Paltan.

Welcome to the final face-off:

Arjun Deshwal versus Fazzel Attrachali and Gaurav Khatri.

Puneri Raiders versus Sahul Kumar and Ankush.

Both teams are equally matched and this will be a historic final in the PKL. Both teams operate with a trio of raiders and a set combination of defenders. Jaipur Pink Panthers will unleash Arjun Deshwal along with Rahul Chaudhary and V Ajith. They will adjust them as per the match situation. But Jaipur has an edge as both their corners are in devastating form. Ankush and Sahul Kumar will trouble the Puneri raiders. Captain Sunil Kumar will add spice to the hunting.

Coach BC Ramesh may alter the usage of their 4 young raiders according to the situation at halftime. You may see Aslam, Mohit, and Pankaj Mohite operating for the Paltan. All-rounder Nabibaksh may prove to be the playmaker for the Paltan. Captain Fazel and defender Abinesh will trouble the Jaipur raiders. 

But this will be an epic final with a lot of fireworks, surprises, and heartbreaks.

Puneri Paltan will win the title.

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Author: Pankaj Khiladino