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PKL 2019, Season Review: Jaipur Pink Panthers | Toppers at the start, losers at the finish

Ameya Thakur
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:51 IST

In spite of starting well, Jaipur could not reach their target. Why was it so?
In spite of starting well, Jaipur could not reach their target. Why was it so?

Jaipur Pink Panthers were the winners of the maiden season of the Pro Kabaddi League, but they haven’t been able to replicate that kind of form in the following 6 seasons.

At the start of season 7, Jaipur got off to a flier after winning 6 of their first 7 games. They were at the top of the table for the majority of the first month, but they could not sustain that momentum.

As a result, Jaipur soon found their way out of the top half of the table and they could never really make a comeback.

They ended up being 7 points short of a playoff spot. Jaipur did have some good moments in the season but they will be disappointed with the fact that they couldn’t convert the good start into a something much more.

Key Stats

Played: 22 | Won: 9 | Lost: 11 | Tie: 2 | Total: 58 - Finished 7th

Total points scored: 700

Total points conceded: 713

Raid points: 385

Tackle points: 240


All-outs conceded: 25

Overall win percentage: 40.9%

What worked?

The stats say that Jaipur were the third-best team with respect to the number of tackle points scored. One may credit Sandeep Dhull’s brilliance for the same. With 73 points to his name, Sandeep ended the season as the fourth most efficient defender.

His presence in the left corner made the proceedings quite tough for the raiders. His ankle holds and thigh holds have been his biggest strength for many years now.

Coming to the offensive unit, Deepak Hooda was the pick of the players. His running hand touches were a treat to watch. He ended the season with 158 points and also completed a career tally of 900 PKL points. Deepak’s all-round capabilities truly make him a fantastic player to watch.

In short, Jaipur’s key players were very effective and that is what worked in favour of this team.

What did not work?

Jaipur lacked a good supporting raider in the majority of the matches they played this season. They tried Nitin Rawal at the start, Deepak Narwal and Sushil Gulia in the middle, and Nilesh Salunkhe during the final stages of the tournament. But none of them did a stellar job. Nilesh picked up just a solitary super 10 in 19 matches, which is a low tally by his standards.

Their defence too could not fire as a unit. Amit Hooda performed well sporadically while his other teammates did not step up.

Jaipur made too many changes in the cover position and that put a lot of pressure on Sandeep Dhull. Although the stats speak in favour of Jaipur’s defence, one may feel that they lacked sharpness.

Going forward

The presence of Deepak Hooda and Sandeep Dhull adds a lot of quality to this side. Hence, Jaipur must try to retain these key players.

Amit Hooda and Nilesh Salunkhe are decent assisting players, but they need results to support their case. Also, Jaipur missed a good cover defender in their starting seven. So that is a slot they must look to target in the upcoming auctions.

Published 26 Oct 2019, 19:09 IST
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