Both, Jaipur Pink Panthers and Puneri Paltan, will be looking to bounce back from a defeat at the hands of Dabang Delhi K.C. in their previous match when the two sides lock horns at the EKA Arena by TransStadia in Ahmedabad on Thursday. The Season 1 champions saw their perfect start to the season end at the hands of Dabang Delhi K.C. last time around, while Puneri Paltan’s two-match winning streak was also halted by the northerners.
Match 42: Jaipur Pink Panthers vs Puneri Paltan
Head-to-head: Jaipur Pink Panthers 7 – 5 Puneri Paltan. 2 Ties.
Jaipur Pink Panthers
Win rate: 80%
Best Raider: Deepak Hooda
Best Defender: Sandeep Dhull
After four successive wins to begin their campaign, Jaipur Pink Panthers found it difficult to contain Dabang Delhi K.C.’s raiders in Patna and succumbed to their first defeat of the season. Since then, Jaipur Pink Panthers have had a lot of time to introspect, with Thursday’s clash against Puneri Paltan being their first in the Ahmedabad leg. Coach Srinivas Reddy will be expecting a much better performance from his defenders, who struggled to contain the opposition raiders in their last game. Sandeep Dhull, who has been their best defender so far, did not score a single point in the last match. He will be eager to set things right and will rely on better support from Amit Hooda and even Sunil Siddhgavali who, like Dhull, didn’t find his name on the scoresheet in the previous game. Jaipur Pink Panthers’ raiders, meanwhile, have shown consistency and will be keen to put their best foot forward once again. Captain Deepak Hooda has been their talisman and he has been complemented well by Deepak Narwal and Ajinkya Pawar.
Win rate: 33.33%
Best Raider: Pankaj Mohite
Best Defender: Girish Ernak
Puneri Paltan were starting to get their season back on track with consecutive wins before Dabang Delhi K.C. edged them out to halt their momentum. Coach Anup Kumar, though, won’t be too disappointed with their last loss given the narrow manner of the defeat. Skipper Surjeet Singh will want to be more assertive and dominant in defence than he’s been thus far. Girish Ernak has been Puneri Paltan’s best defender in Season 7 and, if Surjeet were to rediscover his best form soon, Puneri Paltan are capable of putting together a good run of results with their raiders now starting to find their feet. Their last match also saw the return of Nitin Tomar and he didn’t disappoint with eight raid points – more than any other player on the team. If Tomar, Manjeet and Pankaj Mohite – their leading raid points scorer this season – can play to their full potential, it’s safe to assume that no opposition defence will look forward to coming up against them.