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PKL 10: Sunil Malik praises Arjun Deshwal for his exceptional performance throughout the season

Published at :February 13, 2024 at 7:26 PM
Modified at :February 13, 2024 at 7:26 PM
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The Pink Panthers reached the summit and confirmed a place in the semi-finals after a comfortable win over the Yodhhas.

In the ongoing season, Jaipur Pink Panthers went one step closer to defending their Pro Kabaddi League title. Winners of the previous edition confirmed a place in the semi-finals following a convincing 67-30 win over a struggling UP Yoddhas in PKL 10 at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata on Monday, 12 February 2024.

Arjun Deshwal (20) starred for the defending champions and Abhijeet Malik (9) gave him a lot of support too. The skipper Sunil Kumar also recorded a High 5 which led to a complete domination of the U.P. Yodhhas. Injuries to several key players have been a talking point for the Yodhhas and it was reiterated by their head coach, Jasveer Singh, in the post-match interaction.

Sunil Kumar on preparations going forward

Jaipur Pink Panthers are the reigning champions of the Pro Kabaddi League and Sunil Kumar talked about focusing on retaining the title after reaching the semis directly once again. He said, “It feels good, last season too we played the semi-final directly and reached the final to win the trophy. The team is performing well this time as well and we are happy to reach the semis. However, we will prepare well for the upcoming matches and do better than we did last time around.”

Praise for Arjun Deshwal

Arjun Deshwal was superb for the Pink Panthers and collected a haul of 20 points. Showing praise for him, Sunil Kumar said, “Arjun Deshwal is a “raid machine” as described by the media. He collects so many points and does not let the pressure increase on the team. He did extremely well today and Abhijeet Malik also got a chance and scored well.”

Jasveer Singh’s reaction to the defeat

Jasveer Singh, head coach of the U.P. Yodhhas, attributed the inexperience of the raiders as a contributing factor towards the loss. He said, “As it is known, our main players are not available. We defended well in the beginning, the performance was good in the first half and if we had an experienced raider, we could have emerged victorious. Since our raiders were young and inexperienced with Jaipur Pink Panthers having a decent defence, it eventually was the reason for our defeat.”

The reason for the team’s poor performance

While the tactician praised a few players after the defeat, he also pointed out how losing key players to injury caused his team’s downfall eventually. He said, “Gagan is doing well and Hitesh also performed nicely today. There were a few mistakes towards the end of the match and Mahipal did not live up to his billing. Injuries to our key players hurt us and if you lose four or five players from the starting lineup then any team would struggle.”

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