U Mumba registered a convincing 47-21 win over Jaipur Pink Panthers in vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 7 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday. A few minutes after the final whistle, U Mumba’s assistant coach Upendra Kumar, captain ‘Sultan’ Fazel Atrachali and Abhishek Singh attended the post-match press conference, while skipper Deepak Hooda and coach Srinivas Reddy answered questions for Jaipur Pink Panthers. Here are some excerpts.
Q. Coach, how does it feel to beat a team like Jaipur Pink Panthers in that manner?
Upendra Kumar: We were lacking consistency in our first few games of the season. So, after playing 11 games and then winning a game in this fashion will help. Both our defence and offence were on top of their game and hardly made any mistakes. Whoever got a chance to play, they performed well and so did our defence. This win will be beneficial for the team moving forward and now the coach and everyone has full faith in the team doing well.
Q. Abhishek, how does it feel to produce a performance like that?
Abhishek Singh: My performance in the last game wasn’t that great. So, the coach and captain had planned to play in manner where we didn’t have to necessarily get points every time we went in for a raid. Hence, we played according to the plan, devised by the coach and captain and I performed well. Hopefully, I’ll manage to continue producing similar performances.
Q. What were your thoughts going into the buzzer raid, which resulted in Super Raid for you?
Abhishek Singh: I wasn’t even aware that I was on nine points at the time. I told Fazel that I was going to go for points and not hold back.
Q. Coach, what are your thoughts on Sandeep Narwal’s aggressive style of play?
Upendra Kumar: Every player has their own style of play. If we restrict any players’ style of play too much, then it’s difficult for them to perform to their best. So, it’s important not to control them too much or else it’s not possible for them to perform at their optimum level.
Jaipur Pink Panthers
Q. Coach, can you’ll forge a comeback in the league?
Srinivas Reddy: We can still make a comeback. Initially other teams didn’t start well, but in spite of that they’ve comeback in the league and have winning momentum. We started the season well but are going through a slump right now and have lost three or four games. We’ll try to turn things around and gain some winning momentum soon because there are still 10 games left and we aren’t prepared to accept defeat yet. We’ll have to play our last few games anyway and if we want to win the final, we’ll have to play 25 games regardless. So, we’re not going to give up yet and I’ll tell my raiders to approach the other games differently, which is why they’ll have to do well.
Q. What sort of a difference will the margin of tonight’s defeat have on the team?
Srinivas Reddy: Yes, the margin of defeat is important and it’s crucial to lose with a small points margin because staying neck-to-neck can be pivotal at the end of the league stage. So, today’s loss is a drawback for us but it’s important to learn from these mistakes and move forward.