New Delhi, Aug 20: Table-toppers Jaipur Pink Panthers will face hosts Tamil Thalaivas in match number 52 of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 7 at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday (August 21).
Tamil Thalaivas would be aiming to produce their best effort against table-toppers Jaipur Pink Panthers in front of a supportive home crowd. Thalaivas ended the Ahmedabad leg of the tournament with a win over hosts Gujarat Fortunegiants but their home leg hasn't been as planned.
They lost their first home game to Bengaluru Bulls and later played out a tie against Puneri Paltan. The Ajay Thakur-led sid is placed at seventh place in the leaders' board and they would be desperate to make it to the top 6 to keep their play-offs hopes alive.
Out of the eight games they have played, Thalaivas have won three, lost three matches, and two of their matches ended in a tie. Star raider Rahul Chaudhari, who is playing his first season for Thalaivas, has done well for the new franchise but Ajay hasn't been consistent in the raiding department.
However, he's looked better in the last two games. Rahul has completed 900 raids in Pro Kabaddi history. He has 52 raid points to his credit in 8 games but one expects an even better performance from a five-star raider like Rahul. Ajay has 34 points from raids in as many games.
Manjeet Chhillar, who has scored more than 300 tackle points in the league, would be looking to continue his dominant run in this season. He has picked up 26 tackle points in seven games. Along with Mohit Chhillar (21 tackle points), and Ran Singh (18 points) are manning Thalaivas' defence brilliantly but it will be interesting to see how they counter the force of Deepak Niwas Hooda.
Tamil Thalaivas Starting 7: Ajay Thakur (R), Rahul Chaudhari (R), Shabeer Bapu (R), Manjeet Chillar (all-rounder), Ran Singh (all-rounder), Mohit Chhillar (D), Sagar (D), Ajit (D).
The key to Jaipur Pink Panthers' success in the season has been the time spent by Deepak Niwas Hooda on the mat. UP Yoddha had identified this as an important area to target in the first half, with the captain spending a lot of time in the dugout.
Against Tamil Thalaivas, Pink Panthers would be looking to plug this gaping hole and coach Srinivas Reddy would be preparing other raiders to ease some pressure from the shoulders of the Deepak.
Despite the loss against UP Yoddha, the champions of the inaugural season are on a roll this year. Pink Panthers have showcased their versatility in the tournament as they've produced a composed defensive performance to win the match against.
Deepak is leading the team from the front with 64 raiding points in 8 games. Deepak Narwal (27 points) is picking up his form but needs to remain consistent.
Their defenders have done exceedingly well in this season and would be raring to get to the winning ways. Sandeep Dhull, defender left-corner, has accumulated 31 tackle points. Amit Hooda (22 tackle points from 8 games) and Vishal (20 points from 8 games) are manning Pink Panthers' wall brilliantly.
Jaipur Pink Panthers Starting 7: Deepak Niwas Hooda (R), Nilesh Salunke (R), Deepak Narwal (R), Amit Hooda (defender), Sandeep Kumar Dhull (defender), Nitin Rawal (all-rounder), Sachin Narwal (all-rounder).
My Dream 11: Deepak Niwas Hooda (R), Ajay Thakur (R), Rahul Chaudhari (R), Amit Hooda (defender), Manjeet Chhillar all-rounder), Ran Singh (all-rounder), Mohit Chhillar (D).