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Old rivalry in a new season.
This will be a TIE.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: Arena by TransstadiaBet Now
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Welcome to the repeat of the finals of season 9 as the Pink Panthers take on the Paltan. Jaipur beat them in the finals by just 4 points and the Paltan will look for some payback. Both teams have retained their core adding some interesting players during the auctions.
The biggest steal was when the Paltan bought Iranian all-rounder Mohammedreza Chiyaneh for a mind-blowing 2.35 Cr. This was to bolster their defense. The Jaipur Pink Panthers have not made any major changes as they were the most balanced team of season 9. Youngsters like Arjun Deshwal and defender Ankush performed beyond expectations last year which also catapulted them into the Indian national squad.
Jaipur won the inaugural season of the PKL and had to wait for another 7 seasons to reclaim the crown. The Puneri Paltan has been an average side over the years but season 9 was a game changer for them as they reached the finals. This will be redemption for the Paltan as they will weave a web of deceit around the Pink Panthers to partly payback for the loss of season 9.
A team with immense local support never took off until season 9. They were relatively unsuccessful in the early years finishing last in 2014 and 2015. The qualified for the play-off for the first time in January 2016 but continued their inconsistent run till season 9. Teamwork and tactics helped them forge a deadly combination which produced some unexpected results.
The young raiding trio of Aslam Inamdar, Pankaj Mohite and Mohit Goyat proved too hot to handle for most opposition teams. The presence of legendary Fazel Attrachali helped the Paltan to create an impregnable defense in season 9. Fazel, the best defender in the history of PKL guided them through choppy waters. Unfortunately Fazel is not part of the Puneri Paltan and this will be a big blow to their defensive strategy.
The Paltan still looks a defense heavy team with Abhinesh Nadarajan, Sanket Sawant, Vaibhav Kamble and Gaurav Khatri at the helm of affairs. The inclusion of Iranian Mohammedreza will give the Paltan the added sting from the left corner. Coach B C Ramesh will once again use his famous “Hit and Run” strategy against most teams, a plan which worked well in season 9. The transformation of the Paltan was due to a mix of raiding prowess and defensive tactics.
They have multiple options for their corner and cover positions which should provide the Paltan with the necessary diversity in their attack. Puneri has relied more on local players from Maharashtra which will also bring about a special flavor to their campaign. Players like all-rounder Ahmed Enamdar, Dadaso Pujari, Tushar Adhavade and Aditya Shinde are the young brigade raring to graduate among the big boys.
Puneri Paltan has won 8 out of their 21 encounters with Jaipur and most of their games have been close ones. The Paltan will need to employ some surprise moves in their opening game so as to gain momentum in a long season.
The defending champions have not fiddled with their winning squad this season. They have decided to continue with the youngsters like Arjun Deshwal, Bhawani Rajput and veterans Rahul Chaudhary and Ajith. The Pink Panthers won the title last season due to some unbelievable and deadly tackling, courtesy defenders like Ankush and Sunil Kumar. By the end of the season last year, most teams were wary of facing the Pink Panthers, such was their terror.
Ankush was the best defender of last season with 84 successful tackles while Sunil Kumar was in the top five. Right corner Sahul Kumar too proved too hot to handle as both corners combined effortlessly to strangle their opponents. Jaipur will expect a repeat of this performance against the Puneri Paltan in their first game.
Another feather in the cap was the rise of young raider Arjun Deshwal. Emerging from the shadows of veteran Rahul Chaudhary, Arjun earned close to 300 raid points last season. This performance helped him get into the Indian national team which went on to win the gold medal at the recent Asian Games.
The Pink Panthers gathered over 1000 raid points last season while executing this highest successful team tackles. No wonder they are the defending champions. Arjun Deshwal also scored the highest Super 10’s of season 9 due to which he was declared the “Most Valuable Player” that season.
Jaipur has a good record over the Puneri Paltan as they have won 11 out their 21 games. They were forced to settle for a “TIE” twice in 21 matches, which will force the Pink Panthers to design a special plan against their young raiders. The Paltan had beaten the Pink Panthers twice in the league stage last year.
But this will be the start of a new season and whichever teams begins on a positive note will reap the benefits in this long season.
Welcome to the repeat of final bout of season 9, as the two best teams of last year clash at Ahmedabad. The Puneri Paltan has their most lethal weapon in the form of left corner Mohammedreza who will trouble Rahul Chaudhary. But the fragile Puneri defense will have to work in resonance to tackle Arujun Deshwal. The Paltan will try to surprise their opponents with an interesting mix of raiders. They may involve Pankaj Mohite and Akash Shinde sparingly along with Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat.
The Pink Panthers will unleash Arjun Deshwal who will target the right cover and right corner of the Paltan. Jaipur may use the services of Rahul Chaudhary, Devank and Navneet. Defenders Sunil Kumar and left corner Ankush will trap Aslam Inamdar in order to slow down the game and take and early lead. As this will be the first match for both teams, there may be a possibility of high unforced errors which may lead to a high scoring game.
Both the teams are so evenly matched that it be turn out to the first “Tie” of season 10.
This will be a TIE.
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