Puneri Paltan leapfrogged Telugu Titans in the vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 7 standings after a 34-27 win over them at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in Delhi on Friday. Minutes after the final whistle, Puneri Paltan’s coach Anup Kumar and skipper Surjeet Singh were in attendance for the post-match press conference, while coach Gholamreza Mazandarani, assistant coach Jagdish Kumble and star defender Vishal Bhardwaj answered questions on behalf of Telugu Titans.
Q. Coach, how did the game go?
Anup Kumar: It always goes well if you’ve won the game (laughs). The five Super Tackles that they executed were mistakes on our part. If we had prevented that from happening at the start, the game could have been easier for us.
Q. What are your thoughts on Nitin Tomar and Manjeet’s performances as well as the second half of the league?
Anup Kumar: Firstly, Nitin and Manjeet performing for the team like they did today is very important. They’ll have to continue playing in the same manner in the remaining matches. Secondly, we’re not in a very good or bad situation now. We played well in our last game as well and lost because of some tough luck. So, our strategy for the second half of the league will be to continue playing in the manner that we have been and hopefully qualify for the playoffs.
Q. How important was it to stop Siddharth Desai from playing his game in the first half?
Anup Kumar: Stopping Siddharth is obviously very crucial, he is kabaddi’s Baahubali after all and stopping him is very beneficial for the team. Look at how well he performed in the second half and how quickly he scored. At that point, it was very important for us to tackle him. We managed to do that a and grew in confidence.
Q. Happy with the performance of your Corner defenders?
Anup Kumar: The entire team played well today. The corners played very well and had good balance.
Q. Vishal, what kind of an impact did the lack of raid points have in the first half?
Vishal Bhardwaj: Nothing like that. We had our plans and so did the opponents. Raiders sometimes are unsuccessful because Siddharth Desai is a good raider and everyone watches him. The turning point of the match was when Manjeet scored the Super Raid for Puneri Paltan after halftime.
Q. Coach, what are your thoughts?
Gholamreza Mazandarani: I think in the second half, the players played a little bit aggressively. I told them before the match that all teams are fighting for points. But after two, three wins, some players think all matches will be easy. I think inexperience lost us the game as well as some mistakes.
Q. Coach Jagdish, What’s the strategy for the second half of the season?
Jagdish Kumble: From the start, our raiders have found it a bit difficult, while our defenders have played well. So, we’re going to be focusing on our raiders and we must win the league at any cost, which is why we’ll focus on our raiders improving in the upcoming games and look to improve.