The Panthers won five consecutive matches in the opening leg.
Jaipur Pink Panthers have lost only two encounters in the first seven matches, claiming 26 points. They are currently placed second in the points table, behind Dabang Delhi KC who have played a game less. After losing the opening encounter against UP Yodhhas, Jaipur came back strongly winning the next five matches comprehensively. Apart from Jaipur Pink Panthers, only Dabang Delhi KC has won five successive matches.
Both the raiding and defence departments have been combining well with Arjun and Sunil taking the onus upon themselves.
Results in PKL 9 Bengaluru Leg
- Match 1: Jaipur Pink Panthers 32-34 UP Yoddhas
- Match 2: Jaipur Pink Panthers 35-30 Patna Pirates
- Match 3: Haryana Steelers 31-44 Jaipur Pink Panthers
- Match 4: Jaipur Pink Panthers 25-18 Gujarat Giants
- Match 5: Bengal Warriors 24-39 Jaipur Pink Panthers
- Match 6: Jaipur Pink Panthers 51-27 Telugu Titans
- Match 7: Puneri Paltan 32-24 Jaipur Pink Panthers
Sahul Kumar, the right-corner defender, is back to form after a poor start to the season. Sahul was involved in many unsuccessful tackles but is slowly getting back to form.
Sunil Kumar and Ankush occupy the first and third spots in the tackle points table. Both need to continue the same going into the Pune leg.
Arjun Deshwal needs a reliable partner in the secondary raider spot. Rahul Chaudhari or Ajith Kumar need to fill the gap with both having good experience and having represented multiple teams in the PKL.
Sunil Kumar was appointed the Jaipur Pink Panthers captain before the start of the league being one of the most experienced defenders in the Pro Kabaddi League. He has led Gujarat Giants to two successive finals since their inception, but did not have a good season last year. In season 9, Jaipur let go of Sandeep Dhull but brought in Sunil with the same experience.
He started the season on a cautious note but after a few games, Sunil showed his calibre scoring eight tackle points in a single encounter. From there on there was no going back for the star cover defender scoring 25 tackle points in seven games ahead of Girish Ernak with 24 points. Sunil has got great support from Ankush, who has scored 23 tackle points.
Ajith Kumar, who was terrific for U Mumba in season 8, has lost form and could only score 21 raid points in seven matches. The young raider from Tamil Nadu started the season on a good note. He was sent for the last raid of the match against UP Yoddhas ahead of star raider Arjun Deshwal, but couldn’t deliver. Of the 21 points he has scored, nine points have come from a single game and the rest of the 12 points from the six games.
Ajith Kumar score 159 raid points in 20 matches for U Mumba in season 8 and was on par with Abhishek Singh, who was the primary raider.
After failing to qualify for the playoffs in season 7 and 8, the chances of qualifying in season 9 looks very bright with the addition of quality defenders. Jaipur Pink Panther’s raiding department needs to score more points and support the defence going forward.