Telugu Titans’ chance of making the qualifiers in Season 5 of VIVO Pro Kabaddi is in serious jeopardy after a poor campaign so far. Hyderabad won just one of the games in their home leg and have not had a good time on the mat in their subsequent matches as well, coming out on the wrong side of results more often than not.
Their coach Naveen Kumar recently spoke to prokabaddi.com and assessed his team’s display this season. On his side’s below-par showing in their home leg where things definitely didn’t go according to plan, Kumar said: “I think if a plan works then it’s a successful plan. We tried to do well from the start by getting the young players to play in the home leg. We stuck to the plans from the start and went with Sombir in the right corner. We tried for him to get settled but he didn’t and he couldn’t perform. We had good Iranian defenders as well. So, we have good defenders but they have failed to find their feet.”
As far as his offence is concerned, Kumar added: “We have started with Nilesh Salunke but it hasn’t worked for us much. It’s not Nilesh’s fault. We have good raiders but there is no proper support for Rahul [Chaudhari] in the raiding department so that is the drawback for us.”
Kumar though hasn’t given up hope of staging an incredible turnaround by eradicating mistakes. “We have been watching the videos of our matches and are trying to rectify the mistakes which we have made. We have a good bunch of players, including young players, but somewhere mistakes happen. It depends on the day and the players as well. If it’s the player’s day then he will win the game for you and sometimes exactly the opposite also happens. So, we are trying to analyse and find out the mistakes and make sure we don’t repeat them,” he said.
He also explained how frustrating it can be for a coach to watch his team’s strategy unravel in dramatic fashion. “I get really angry because if there is a strategy and the players are not following it, then there is no point of making one in the first place. It should not happen during the match,” he said.
When asked about the impact the losses have made on the morale of the team, Kumar said: “I think because of the losses the players lose their confidence a bit. But we are trying to regain confidence and play well in the upcoming matches. We are not worried about the home leg because the other teams haven’t performed particularly well in their home matches either. There are still a lot of matches left for us to perform and give ourselves a fighting chance of making the qualifiers.”