Inaugural champions Jaipur Pink Panthers have struggled in recent seasons of the Pro Kabaddi League. The Pink Panthers start well in almost every season but lose momentum as the competition progresses and miss out on a place in the playoffs.
The last time the Jaipur Pink Panthers qualified for the PKL playoffs was back in season four, where they finished runners-up. Since then, they have fallen short in the race to the knockouts every season.
Due to the team's recent failures, the owners made some big changes to their squad ahead of Pro Kabaddi 2022. They have roped in some seasoned pros like Rahul Chaudhari and Sunil Kumar to strengthen the team. Here is the full list of Jaipur Pink Panthers players for PKL 9:
Arjun Deshwal, Deepak, Devank, Ankush, Sahul Kumar, Ashish, V Ajith Kumar, Sunil Kumar, Woosan KO, Reza Mirbagheri, Lucky Sharma, Nitin Panwar, Bhavani Rajput, Navneet, Rahul Chaudhari, Nitin Chandel, Rahul Dhanawade, and Abhishek KS.
Overall, Jaipur have a strong squad on paper, and here are three reasons why they could win Pro Kabaddi 2022.
#1 Two young in-form raiders in the Jaipur Pink Panthers squad
Jaipur Pink Panthers retained their young raider Arjun Deshwal ahead of the Pro Kabaddi 2022 Auction. Deshwal was one of the most successful raiders in the previous edition of PKL, scoring more than 250 raid points for the Pink Panthers.
He built a long streak of Super 10s in the eighth season of the PKL. Unfortunately, Deshwal missed out on a golden opportunity to win the Best Raider award as his team did not qualify for the playoffs, meaning he did not get some extra matches.
To ensure that Deshwal gets proper support, the Panthers signed V. Ajith Kumar at the Pro Kabaddi 2022 Auction. Kumar was quite impressive for U Mumba last season, aggregating 159 raid points in just 20 matches.
If Kumar and Deshwal continue in the same form, the Pink Panthers will prove to be a force to be reckoned with in Pro Kabaddi 2022.
#2 Strong defense on the right side
Jaipur have two fantastic defenders on the right side of their defense. They retained right corner defender Sahul Kumar, who scored 45 tackle points in 18 matches last season. Former Gujarat Giants captain Sunil Kumar will play as the right cover this year for Jaipur. Sunil has 217 tackle points to his name in the PKL.
The left side of Jaipur's defense is a little inexperienced, but if new players Ankush and Reza Mirbagheri justify the faith shown in them by Jaipur, the Pink Panthers will be top contenders to win the title.
#3 X-factor Rahul Chaudhari
Jaipur Pink Panthers signed Rahul Chaudhari for ₹10 lakh at the Pro Kabaddi 2022 Auction. Chaudhari is one of the top raiders in PKL history, but his recent form has not been the best.
If the Raid Machine returns to his old form, he can help Jaipur win multiple matches single-handedly. With Arjun Deshwal and V. Ajith Kumar present to support him, Rahul will be keen to help Jaipur win their second trophy.