Tamil Thalaivas secured a huge victory against U.P. Yoddha at the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex in Greater Noida. Representing Tamil Thalaivas at the post-match press conference were captain Ajay Thakur and coach E Bhaskaran. Taking questions for U.P. Yoddha were captain Rishank Devadiga and coach Jasveer Singh.
Q: What do you have to say about Sukesh Hegde’s brilliant performance in the first half?
E Bhaskaran: I would like to congratulate my entire team for a convincing victory. Sukesh Hegde and Manjeet Chhillar played brilliantly. The whole team played as a cohesive unit. We were lacking this completeness in our earlier games. We got a nice break in between which we used to work on our game and the players put that learning to good use today.
Q: We saw an all-round performance from your team. What do you have to say?
Ajay Thakur: The defenders performed brilliantly today. Manjeet Chhillar had a great match. It is good to see him coming back into form. Amit Hooda, with his second High 5 of the season, was brilliant. We have been a little restless defensively in our earlier games but today was perfect. It was a complete team performance and you will see more of this from now.
Q: You are getting support from your backup raiders. How does it feel to have everyone performing?
Ajay Thakur: Kabaddi is a team game and you don’t look at individual performances much. If everyone on the team doesn’t perform then it becomes very difficult to succeed. It is very important for the whole squad to perform. Those who aren’t on the mat play an important role as well. Getting support from the backup raiders means we are evolving as a team and everyone is contributing, which is good news for us going forward.
Q: This was your first home match and it was a difficult one. What do you have to say?
Jasveer Singh: Neither our offence nor our defence worked today. Jeeva Kumar was playing after a long time since he was injured. Our combination wasn’t set today, either offensively or defensively. Our strategies didn’t work out either as Tamil Thalaivas had them all covered. We couldn’t do as well as we have been doing in our past few games.
Q: How big of a positive is it having Jeeva Kumar back?
Jasveer Singh: He is our star defender. His is currently recovering from injury but he played today after a long time and that gave him and us immense confidence. We have a relatively inexperienced defensive lineup and adding Jeeva to it definitely makes it stronger. He can play in any position and his versatility is missed when he isn’t in the lineup. Jeeva has done a great job earlier and I’m sure he can replicate that.