Bengal Warriors moved to second in the vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 7 standings after a 35-26 win over Tamil Thalaivas at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in Delhi on Thursday. Shortly after the final whistle, Bengal Warriors’ coach BC Ramesh and skipper Maninder Singh attended the post-match press conference, while coach E. Bhaskaran and captain ‘Iceman’ Ajay Thakur answered questions on behalf of Tamil Thalaivas.

Bengal Warriors

Bengal Warriors’ coach BC Ramesh gives his players instructions.

Q. Maninder, how do you view this win after losing the last game?

Maninder Singh: Our defence’s plan was successful tonight. Whenever the opposition raiders came to raid, we managed to catch them. So, we went into the game with this plan (to keep their raiders quiet) after consultation with the coach and played according to the plan. The last game, we lost in the final four or five minutes. But in this game, we stuck to our plan and won the match.  

Q. Coach, how good is it for the confidence of the team to be in the second spot in the standings?

BC Ramesh: It’s very important. Winning the match tonight was critical after losing the last game. It was a tough match as well, so winning does boost our confidence. We’ll now aim to go to the top by beating U.P. Yoddha in our next match in Bengaluru. Both, our defenders and raiders, played well today, and the overall performance of the team was very good.

Q. Which area do you think you’ll need to work on a bit more?

BC Ramesh: Defence. Our defence needs to concentrate a lot more. Our raiders, Maninder, K. Prapanjan, Sukesh Hegde and Mohammad Nabibakhsh, are doing well. But the defence needs to concentrate much more in our upcoming games.

Tamil Thalaivas

Tamil Thalaivas’ coach E. Bhaskaran and captain Ajay Thakur at the post-match press conference.

Q. Ajay, you played well but the team lost. How does it feel?

Ajay Thakur: Look, it’s a team game and individual performances don’t matter if the team doesn’t perform well. I want everyone to play well and only then will the team also perform well. That’s what we need to correct in the upcoming games.

Q. Coach, are you concerned about Rahul Chaudhari’s form?

E Bhaskaran: No, I’m not concerned about his form. Sometimes it clicks for him and other times it doesn’t. But he keeps trying his best to perform. I am confident that he’ll come back and perform well in the next few matches we have.

Q. Ajay, what went wrong in defence?

Ajay Thakur: We were lacking in our coordination tonight. The defenders were playing well to be fair, but you have to factor in that the opposition boasted top-quality raiders. If you notice, you’ll see that Maninder Singh of Bengal Warriors has performed consistently against all teams so far. However, I felt that when we conceded points with four or five men of our team on the mat, it cost us. I feel that’s our weakness this season and that’s where we make mistakes.