May 19, 2024

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The Challenge Ahead: Why Jaipur Pink Panthers May Struggle to Defend their PKL Title

The PKL 10 is just around the corner and will begin on 2 December. Defending champions Jaipur Pink Panthers are gearing up for the challenge of retaining their title in the upcoming edition.

They had a stellar run last season, finishing atop the points table before clinching the title with a 33-29 victory over Puneri Paltan in the final.

After securing their second PKL title, the Panthers head into season 10 with familiar faces from the previous seasons. The Panthers now aim to become the second team in history to successfully defend their Pro Kabaddi title.

Jaipur Pink Panthers will kick off their season against last season’s runners-up, Puneri Paltan, hoping to replicate their success and commence their title defense on a positive note.

While they appear formidable on paper, certain concerns may pose challenges to their title defense. Coach Sanjeev Baliyan faces the task of addressing these issues to ensure the team’s success. He will look to channel his success from the recent Asian Games triumph and help Jaipur win a record third PKL title.

Despite their overall strength, multiple factors could hinder the Jaipur Pink Panthers’ quest for the trophy. Let’s explore three reasons why they can’t retain their PKL title.

#3 Jaipur Pink Panthers’ overdependence on Arjun Deshwal

Arjun Deshwal has been a standout performer for the Jaipur Pink Panthers over the last two seasons. He finished PKL 9 as the tournament’s top raider with an impressive 296 raid points.

His stellar contributions were a significant factor in Jaipur’s title triumph. However, the concern lies in the team’s heavy reliance on him to lead the raiding department.

Any injury or dip in form could leave the Panthers struggling, emphasizing the need for additional support in the raiding lineup. Although they have V Ajith Kumar and Rahul Chaudhari as supporting raiders, they still can’t rely on them. The lack of a robust supporting cast for Arjun Deshwal might emerge as a primary hurdle in Jaipur’s title defense.


#2 Pressure of defending the title

Jaipur Pink Panthers face the significant challenge of shouldering the pressure that comes with defending a title. In the history of PKL, only one team, the Patna Pirates, has successfully defended its title.

Considering the strength and balance of other teams in the league, Jaipur will inevitably encounter heightened expectations and scrutiny. The psychological burden of defending their title might pose a tough challenge, and managing this pressure will be crucial for the Panthers’ success in PKL 10.


#1 Lack of all-rounders in the squad

A noteworthy concern for Jaipur Pink Panthers is the absence of an all-rounder in their roster. This limitation could impact the team in critical and high-pressure situations where having a versatile player could prove instrumental.

Relying on a single player to execute pivotal tasks during such moments may lead to vulnerabilities. The absence of an all-rounder raises questions about the team’s adaptability and flexibility in various game scenarios, potentially hindering their performance in crucial matches.