Jaipur Pink Panthers on top of the group table, followed closely by Puneri Paltan
- Jaipur Pink Panthers finished first in the group table with 82 points
- Jaipur and Paltan secured a place in the semi-finals
Jaipur Pink Panthers ready to take the semi-finals
The play-offs of the exciting 9th season of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) 2022 will begin on Dec. 13 at NSCI Dome in Mumbai. Interestingly, Jaipur Pink Panthers, who won the inaugural edition in 2014, finished at the top of the group table with 82 points. The Panthers clinched 15 victories, drew one, and lost six in 22 games.
Meanwhile Puneri Paltan had defeated Patna Pirates 44-30 and sealed a place in the semi-finals
With 80 points, Puneri Paltan came second, ahead of Bengaluru Bull with 74 points, UP Yoddhas with 71 points, Tamil Thalaivas with 66 points, and Dabang Delhi with 63 points.
While Jaipur and Paltan have secured a place in the semi-final, the other four sides will fight it off in the Eliminator 1 and Eliminator 2.
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Interestingly, While Jaipur Pink Panthers, Bengaluru Bulls and defending champions Dabang Delhi will be looking to join Patna Pirates as multiple winners of PKL, it will be Tamil Thalaivas’ maiden playoffs appearance.
The underperformers of PKL, Season 9
Ravinder Pahal-led Telugu Titans was the weakest side in the group stage of PKL 2022 as they managed just two wins out of their 22 matches. Even the three-time champions Patna Pirates, who are the most successful side in the tournament’s history, did not fare well this season, winning just eight games and finishing 10th in the table.
Bengaluru Bulls are favourites ahead of their Eliminator fixture against Dabang Delhi, having already defeated them twice earlier this season. Their expensive buy, Vikas Khandola, has struggled, but the Bulls have found a new raiding star in Bharat, whose 257 raid points so far is only behind Deshwal. Their left corner defender Saurabh Nandal has also been excellent, having bagged the third-most tackle points in PKL 9, behind Mohammedreza Shadloui and Ankush.
In the other Eliminator, UP Yodha could have an edge over Tamil Thalaivas because of Pardeep Narwal’s revival. After going quiet for a couple of seasons, the PKL’s greatest-ever raider is back to being at his best, scoring 208 raid points. Rohit Tomar and Surender Gill have supported Pardeep well in the raiding department.
What’s next in Pro Kabaddi 2022?
Both Paltan and Panthers are expected to win their respective semi-final clashes in the ongoing PKL 9 Season.
Jaipur Pink Panthers have the best raider and one of the best defenders of the league stages. Arjun Deshwal, who is one of the players to watch out for in the Eliminators, has been in fine form, scoring 286 raid points this season, while their left corner Ankush, another star of PKL 9, has been a revelation, with 77 successful tackles.
Puneri Paltan, who are yet to win the title, are also considered a contender for the final as they have been the most consistent side all this season. Their skipper Fazel Atrachali is a PKL legend, having won the title with both U Mumba and Patna Pirates in the past. He is one of their key players heading into the playoffs. Their young raiding combination of Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat have also had good seasons.