A masterclass in defence from U.P. Yoddha helped the side to a big win against reigning champions Patna Pirates at the Tau Devilal Sports Complex in Panchkula on Sunday. In the post-match press conference, assistant coach Arjun Singh and captain Rishank Devadiga took questions for U.P. Yoddha.

Q. Thoughts on the performance?

Arjun Singh: I’d like to congratulate my defence on a fantastic performance. The raiders did their job but the defence kept making crucial tackles. Minimizing the impact of a player like Pardeep Narwal is no easy feat. And hence, I’d like to credit the defence for their work tonight.

Q. Azad Singh was a surprise package today. What was the thinking behind that?

Rishank Devadiga: It was something we had planned pre-game, to use him as a surprise factor, and it worked. Prashant Kumar Rai and Shrikant Jadhav were scoring at will but in situations with less number of defenders and, Do-Or-Die situations, we wanted to use Azad Singh because he is good in those circumstances. He scored points in those situations and that helped us inflict All-Outs.

Q. Sachin Kumar and Jeeva Kumar played quite well. Thoughts on their performances?

Arjun Singh: Sachin Kumar is a big player for us. He is hardworking and is a leader on the mat. In the last two matches, he managed to get us points as a raider too. Due to his presence, we can be flexible with our players on the mat. Our plan was not to make any errors and I felt we were quite successful in that regard.

Q. Was there a specific strategy against Pardeep Narwal?

Arjun Singh: We knew he would attack us and we planned not to hold back. He’s proficient at the Dubki so we planned to attack in a chain or with three players to avoid giving him easy points.