Patna Pirates have had a good season in VIVO Pro Kabaddi so far. The Pardeep Narwal-Monu Goyat raiding duo has been working wonders for them and scoring points at will. Their defensive line, however, has failed to keep up with the raiders and has given away points in a flurry more often than not. With senior defender Vishal Mane struggling to find form the defensive responsibilities had to be borne by someone else, and that someone turned out to be young defender Jaideep.

With 39 tackle points from 17 matches so far, Jaideep has been one of the team’s most successful defenders of the season. But his confidence in defence hardly betrays the fact that he is playing his first-ever season of VIVO Pro Kabaddi. So what is the secret behind his impressive defensive display for the Pirates?

“There is no pressure on me when I play for Patna Pirates. Once we enter the mat there are no seniors or juniors. We all play as one unit and that helps me while defending,” Jaideep told recently.

Jaideep even played down the pressure of playing on the big stage for the first time. “I don’t find any big difference [between playing in local tournaments and VIVO Pro Kabaddi]. The game more or less remains the same. The only difference according to me is the surface,” said the 25-year-old.

However, from watching his seniors playing as a child to finally performing for two-time champions Patna Pirates, Jaideep has come a long way in his kabaddi journey. “I used to watch my seniors play kabaddi and developed an interest in the game. Before VIVO Pro Kabaddi I played senior level kabaddi and won gold with the Services team recently. That was the most memorable moment for me,” he concluded.

The Pirates will definitely be hoping the defender keeps up the good work and helps them complete a hat-trick of titles.