Rahul Chaudhari's calculated raids and a heroic Super Raid from V Ajith Kumar helped Tamil Thalaivas to a 31-31 tie against Puneri Paltan in Chennai on Sunday. In the post-match press conference, coach E. Bhaskaran and Chaudhari took questions for Tamil Thalaivas, while Puneri Paltan were represented by coach Anup Kumar and skipper Surjeet Singh.
Q. Coach, thoughts on your raiding unit?
E Bhaskaran: Rahul Chaudhari was brilliant from start to finish. I chose to sub V Ajith Kumar in because I had no choice and it worked out in our favour. Rahul played with a chip on his shoulder and was extremely responsible in how he went about his business.
Q. Happy with the result?
E. Bhaskaran: From the position we were in towards the end, it’s a good result.
Thoughts on the upcoming games?
E. Bhaskaran: We'll be playing against two excellent sides (Jaipur Pink Panthers and U Mumba). We'll draw a lot of confidence from today's performance and try to play to the best of our abilities.
Q. Rahul, how are you feeling about your performance?
Rahul Chaudhari: Nothing special. It’s the team's victory that matters. My individual stats aren’t something that I think about. I’m happy that we managed to get a tie. (Going forward) I'll work on my strategy in Super Tackle situations.
Q. Coach, thoughts on the match?
Anup Kumar: One moment cost us the win. We had the win in the bag but that Super Raid cost us the victory. I'm very impressed by how Surjeet played. We needed a big performance from him in defence and he delivered.
Q. Are you happy with the result?
Anup Kumar: Absolutely not. We tied a game that we had in the bag.
Q. You played against your former coach. Tell us something about that.
Anup Kumar: I have learned a lot from E Bhaskaran sir. I played five seasons under him and he has taught me everything he learned over the years as a coach. His decision-making and ability to read a situation is second to none.
Q. Thoughts on Pankaj Mohite's performance?
Anup Kumar: He’s been a brilliant addition to our roster. He’s a New Young Players (NYP), a fantastic programme. An initiative like that has ensured players like Pankaj get a chance in VIVO Pro Kabaddi.