Jaipur Pink Panthers will look to transform their domination of the league phase into a much-required victory against the Patna Pirates when the two teams meet in the winner-take-all semifinals of the Pro Kabaddi League in Mumbai on Friday.
The Jaipur Pink Panthers, owned by Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan, impressed one and all in the league phase of the Pro Kabaddi League, winning ten of their 14 matches to end up as the top team in the standings.
Skipper Navneet Gautam has led his troops brilliantly well so far, and the Pink Panthers will look to his leadership skills if the match against the Pirates gets tense.
Apart from Gautam, the two key players from a point-scoring point of view will be Jasvir Singh and Maninder Singh, who is the leading scorer for the Jaipur franchise.
Defender Rohit Rana will also be crucial to Pink Panthers' fortunes, after Jaipur stumbled a little in their final league game against the Bengaluru Bulls. That loss, though, will not worry the Pink Panthers too much, considering it was pretty much a dead rubber for them, and in such matches, you naturally tend to relax a little more than you should.
Come Friday, however, Jaipur will not be able to even remotely consider pressing that relax button, with the Pirates set to take court against them on the day. The Patna franchise did extremely well to finish fourth in the league, thanks largely to Ravi Dalal and Sandeep Narval.
Skipper Rakesh Kumar will need to be at his absolute best as well if they are to stop the Pink Panthers from pouncing again, even if the two sides split victories in the two matches of the league phase.
Jaipur eased past the Pirates 40-18 in a league match early this month, before the side from Patna got some revenge with a comprehensive 52-30 victory a couple of weeks ago.
So, the stage is set again for the Pro Kabaddi League to take centre-stage and the fans will hope to see another smashing, physical encounter before the second semifinal between U Mumba and the Bengaluru Bulls.
Where to Watch Live
The first semifinal is scheduled to begin at 8 pm with live coverage on the Star Sports network and Star Gold. The big match can also be watched via live streaming online HERE.