All-Time Playing 7 of the Inaugural PKL Winners: Jaipur Pink Panthers

Jaipur Pink Panthers season 1 winners
Jaipur Pink Panthers with the PKL season 1 trophy

Inaugural Pro Kabaddi League winners, Jaipur Pink Panthers, have struggled to play with consistency in the last few seasons. The Pink Panthers dominated all other teams in the first season and captured the championship with a win over U Mumba in the finale.

The Rajasthan-based franchise finished fifth in the second season and settled with the sixth place in season three. However, the team found its mojo back in season four. After finishing third in the league round, Jaipur Pink Panthers qualified for the final, where they fell short to Patna Pirates.

Unfortunately, in the last three seasons, Jaipur has not made it past the first round even once.


The Picks

Deepak Niwas Hooda is an automatic pick, given that he has scored the most raid points for the Jaipur Pink Panthers in PKL history. The former Telugu Titans star has scored 342 raid points for Jaipur in his brief stay at the franchise.

Sandeep Kumar Dhull is the second player who picks himself in this all-time seven of Jaipur Pink Panthers. The left corner defender has scored 140 tackle points for Jaipur, including nine High 5s in two seasons.


The Debate

Deepak Niwas Hooda will lead the raiding attack of Jaipur Pink Panthers’ all-time seven, and Jasvir Singh will be the team’s second raider. The veteran raider helped Jaipur Pink Panthers win many matches in Pro Kabaddi League with his scorpion kicks, and sometimes, he even controlled the match’s pace with his empty raids. Singh’s empty raids slowed down the game and allowed the first PKL champions to stabilize their lead over the opponents.

For the third raider in the team, there are four options. The first is Bengal Warriors’ captain Maninder Singh. The current Bengal star was the main reason behind Jaipur Pink Panthers’ triumph in the first season. Maninder scored 137 points in just 16 matches for Jaipur, and 130 points came through his raiding. His 130 raid points helped him earn the third position on the raiders’ leaderboard of the first season.

The second option for this place is Rajesh Narwal. The talented all-rounder played four seasons for Jaipur Pink Panthers, where he scored 350 points for them. A majority of them came in the raiding department, while he even registered three High 5s in the defense. After moving away from Jaipur, Narwal’s performances dipped by leaps and bounds.

The third option is the emerging star, Ajay Kumar. Jaipur Pink Panthers reached the Pro Kabaddi League season four finals, and Ajay played a vital role in their success. He was making his PKL debut that year. Still, he finished with 61 raid points in 15 matches and won the Emerging Player of the Season award.

Pawan Kumar Kadian is the last option available for this position. He was the top-scorer for Jaipur Pink Panthers in 2017, with 122 points to his name. However, that was the only season where Pawan donned the pink jersey in PKL. From the names mentioned above, Maninder Singh’s raiding skills are the best, and hence, he takes the third raider’s spot in the team, while Rajesh Narwal, being an all-rounder, takes up the right cover position.

So, the right corner and the left cover positions are still vacant. Speaking of the right corner defender first, there is only one player who can take this place. Amit Hooda shouldered this responsibility for Jaipur Pink Panthers in season seven. He finished the season with 44 tackle points in 16 games. Besides, he was also a part of the squad that made it to the final of season 4. Amit was the second-highest tackle points scorer in that season, with 52 points to his name. Hence, there is no better option than Hooda for this role.

Lastly, for the left cover position, Ran Singh and Rohit Rana are the two choices. Both players played a massive role in Jaipur’s success. Hence, it will be tough to leave out any of the two players. Comparing their numbers in Jaipur’s defense, Rana and Singh played four seasons for Jaipur. Rohit managed 74 tackle points across four seasons, whereas Ran Singh scored 105 tackle points in the same duration. Ran also has raw strength, and his blocks often manage to stop the raider from crossing the line. Thus, Ran Singh edges Rohit Rana in this race to the left cover position in the Jaipur Pink Panthers’ all-time seven.


Playing Seven Stats for Jaipur Pink Panthers

Left Corner - Sandeep Dhull
Matches - 44, Tackle Points - 140

Left In - Jasvir Singh
Matches - 61, Raid Points - 338

Left Cover - Ran Singh
Matches - 54, Tackle Points - 105

Center - Deepak Niwas Hooda
Matches - 42, Total Points - 366, Raid Points - 342

Right Cover - Rajesh Narwal
Matches - 60, Total Points - 350, Tackle Points - 84

Right In - Maninder Singh
Matches - 16, Raid Points - 130

Right Corner - Amit Hooda
Matches - 32, Tackle Points - 95


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