The fifth season of the Pro Kabaddi League is on the brink of commencement with the first match scheduled to be played on the 28th of July. This time around, the domestic league of India’s homegrown sport will last for a good span of three months, with the final encounter scheduled to take place on the 28th of October.
The league will feature four new teams viz. Tamil Thalaivas, UP Yoddhas, Fortune Giants Gujarat and the Haryana Steelers in addition to the eight original teams, and thus there will be twelve teams from 11 states competing against each other for the coveted crown.
The champions from the inaugural edition, Jaipur Pink Panthers will be a major force to reckon with for the others given their hefty buys at the player auctions which were held in May. However, post the high of the first season there was a slump in the form of the Abhishek Bachchan owned-team and they finished 5th and 6th respectively in Season 2 and Season 3.
The fourth instalment, however, saw a comeback from the Pink city boys, wherein they made the cut to the finals but were not able to surpass the Patna Pirates in the penultimate encounter. But a close analysis of their side reveals that the team can go the distance this time around, and here are the five reasons why:
#1 Leadership of Manjeet Chhillar
The lion-hearted all-rounder is perhaps one of the best that the sport of kabaddi has ever witnessed, and for Jaipur to secure his services for the upcoming season it would have surely been their highest point from the player auctions. With a plethora of skills and years of playing experience to his credit, he makes for an ideal captain to lead the Jaipur franchise, as he was for the Puneri Paltan and Bengaluru Bulls in the past years.
And if his words are anything to go by, Jaipur will surely emerge as the champions, “I believe that a captain should always be an all-rounder, more so a defender. Because defenders are the ones who spend the most time on the mat. If the defence crumbles, the whole team is out. The main role of a captain to decide who to send to raid, depending on the second raid or third raid. My main target is to reach the final and for that, it’s necessary that we win every single match that we play.”