U.P. Yoddha had a winning start to their campaign where they survived a Tamil Thalaivas fight-back to win the match 37-32. In the post-match press conference, skipper Rishank Devadiga and assistant coach Arjun Singh turned up for U.P. Yoddha while coach Edacherry Bhaskaran took questions on behalf of Tamil Thalaivas.

Tamil Thalaivas

What was the secret to your fight-back?

Edacherry Bhaskaran: In the second half, the situation started changing and the game was coming in our hands. If we even got one point when we were trailing by four points, the match could’ve turned. I’ll want to compliment the opposition team, they played very well with a good plan. We tried a lot in the end, but unfortunately, we lost. I don’t see it as a major hurdle though. It is just one match after all. We still have four games and we’ll definitely make a comeback.

How do you analyse today’s performance?

Edacherry Bhaskaran: If the raiders perform well, the defence will also have a high-morale and they will play with the same energy. If the raiders don’t do well then, the defence will also be under pressure. When the raiders get points their energy normally increases. This is in every team…

Any change in strategy for the upcoming games?

Edacherry Bhaskaran: I’ll say it was just one day. This won’t happen in the future. We have practiced a lot. Next match onwards, we will try to keep the match in our hands from the start.

How impressed were you with Athul MS in the second half?

Edacherry Bhaskaran: Athul played a good match and the experienced Surjeet Singh played nicely as well. U.P. Yoddha didn’t know much about Athul as he is a youngster. That’s why we used Athul there and he helped us come back in the game.

U.P. Yoddha

This win has a lot of importance as you defeated Tamil Thalaivas, which is a very smart team. How do you see your team’s combination after this win?

Rishank Devadiga: We’re happy with the team’s performance and the win but moving forward we will try to preserve the momentum we have from the start till the end.

Talking about the defence, in the start you’ll were defending well, but in the second half the opponents scored a lot of points.

Rishank Devadiga: If you saw yesterday’s game, Tamil Thalaivas had a great lead of 20-25 points and in the end, they won the game by a margin of just 10-12 points. Every team has a strategy of playing safe in the closing stages to avoid a Super Raid from the opponent because if we concede 3 or 4 points the game can quickly get out of hand. But our raiders balanced the match well and we were always ahead in the match.

You have three top raiders in your team who performed very well last season. Do you think your team has raiders for any given situation?

Rishank Devadiga: Yes, absolutely. You can see whenever our team needed a point today, be it the third raid or first, if I told the raider that you need to clinch a point he always got the point. The raiders didn’t disappoint at all.