Tamil Thalaivas marked captain Ajay Thakur’s historic night, where he became the third man in VIVO Pro Kabaddi history to reach 600 raid points, with a clinical display against Puneri Paltan to win by a scoreline of 36-31 at the Shree Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune. In the post-match press conference, Tamil Thalaivas coach E Bhaskaran and captain Ajay Thakur took questions and Puneri Paltan were represented by coach Ashan Kumar and captain Girish Maruti Ernak.
Q: You won today after losing 5 successive games. Did you make any changes?
Ajay Thakur: We have a good team that has the potential to do well. We just had a change of strategy today wherein we attacked their lead raider more. It paid off today and we feel happy to come out with a win. We have been unlucky in our past few games and I’m very happy we got over the line today. I’m hoping this kickstarts our season and we can continue to win many more games.
Q: How do you view this win?
E Bhaskaran: We defeated a top team from the other zone. This will give us a lot of confidence. When you defeat a top team, it is because you have a good team and you aren’t making many mistakes. I think we played very well today and that enabled us to win today.
Q: How important is Ajay Thakur’s return to form for you?
E Bhaskaran: Ajay got a Super 10 today and got to 600 raid points. It’s never easy to get 600 raid points and the fact that only three players have reached the landmark is testament to that. He is a special player who can do special things. We are very lucky to have a player like him in our squad. I hope that with his return to form, we can continue winning games and hopefully qualify for the Super Playoffs.
Q: Ajay Thakur had a big night. Did your strategy against him didn’t work?
Ashan Kumar: Our strategy was to not attack him on the white line and lure him in deep into our half but that didn’t materialise as we had planned, and he ended putting in an outstanding performance.
Q: The defence looked a little shaky tonight. Any specific reason?
Ashan Kumar: Not really, we could have done better in some moments, but over the course of the match we ironed them out. We were in the game right until the last moment and it just slipped out our hands then. It is quite normal and these things happen in the game.
Q: Last home game tomorrow. Any specific strategy going into the game U.P. Yoddha?
Girish Maruti Ernak: Yes, we do. We’ll have a meeting in the morning and a practice session to ensure we are fully prepared for the match. We’ll go through our strategy and discuss the things we need to improve based on this match.