Jaipur Pink Panthers made smart moves in the vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 8 player auction and managed to retain a number of their star players while still adding some young talent to the mix. Among the new faces that will be seen at the team in Season 8 are veteran Dharmaraj Cheralathan, fleet-footed raider Naveen, and the youngster who took the auction by storm - Arjun Deshwal.
The team managed to use their purse wisely to buy back some big names and still have enough in their kitty to go after the new names they wanted. Here is a look at how the Season 8 squad has panned out for the inaugural vivo Pro Kabaddi champions.
View this post on Instagram
Arjun Deshwal Enters the Limelight
Arjun Deshwal became one of the biggest talking points of the vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 8 Player auction when a bidding war broke out for the youngster. Jaipur Pink Panthers eventually picked him up for INR 96 Lakh.
Deshwal was previously seen with U Mumba where he recorded his first 100-point campaign last season. He even recorded 3 Supers 10s with his highest score being 15 points in a match. This experience, coupled with his impressive showing with the Services team at the Senior National Kabaddi Championship, impressed the teams enough to show faith in Deshwal’s abilities.
Deshwal is one among 7 raiders currently in the Jaipur Pink Panthers squad with Naveen being the only other recognised name in the set-up.
View this post on Instagram
Big Names Make Their Way Back
Though Jaipur Pink Panthers had to release some big names such as the Indian Men’s Kabaddi team captain Deepak Hooda and Left Corner Sandeep Dhull before the auction, they managed to buy back both players using the Final Bid Match cards. In fact, they were the only team in the auction to use both their available FBM cards.
Both Deepak Hooda and Sandeep Dhull sparked some interest among all the teams, but Jaipur Pink Panthers managed to buy both players back at INR 55 Lakh and INR 45 Lakh respectively. Along with the 7 retentions in the team, this means that Jaipur Pink Panthers now have 9 members of their previous season’s squad with them this season as well.
Young Talent Retained in The Team
When it came to their pre-auction retained players, Jaipur Pink Panthers chose to keep 4 players from the existing young player category and retain another youngster, all-rounder Nitin Rawal, in the retained young player category. Rawal was rewarded for an impressive showing with the team so far, where he managed to don the Corner while also scoring 122 raid points for the team.
Among the Elite Retained players were Right Corner Amit Hooda and Vishal. With Sandeep Dhull’s return to the team, the duo will be seen continuing their successful partnership that brought the team 117 tackle points in Season 7. Vishal was also impressive in Season 7, where he scored 47 tackle points and was the team’s second most successful defender of the season.
With many successful partnerships returning for the team, and a strong base of youngsters to bank on, the new look Jaipur Pink Panthers seems to have found a way to combine a rich legacy with an eye on the future.
vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 8 starts 22 December, 2021. Catch all the LIVE action on the Star Sports Network and on Disney+Hotstar and follow Pro Kabaddi on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter for all the latest updates!