Tamil Thalaivas overcame a nine-point deficit to defeat Haryana Steelers 35-28 in Match 25 of VIVO Pro Kabaddi at the Patliputra Indoor Stadium in Patna on Sunday. ‘Showman’ Rahul Chaudhari was the star for Tamil Thalaivas as he scored another Super 10 to take his team home. At the post-match press conference, coach Edacherry Bhaskaran and Rahul Chaudhari took questions for Tamil Thalaivas while Haryana Steelers were represented by coach Rakesh Kumar and captain Dharmaraj Cheralathan.
Q. What prompted the move to send Ran Singh in to raid today?
Edacherry Bhaskaran: If a player does not deliver what the team needs then it can get difficult. In such a situation it is necessary for the player to step up. Ran Singh is generally our Corner but when our raiders Ajay Thakur, Rahul Chaudhari and Shabeer Bappu are not on the mat we need a fourth raider who can make sure we avoid an All-Out.
Q. Tell us something about the way Rahul Chaudhari played today.
Edacherry Bhaskaran: It was mainly because of Rahul Chaudhari that we were able to win today. Otherwise it is very difficult to overcome a nine-point deficit and win. The players showed some great control towards the end and we were able to get an All-Out because of which we took the game. However, we will have to be more careful in the opening period in the coming games.
Q. Rahul, what was going through your mind when the team was trailing?
Rahul Chaudhari: When the first half started the defence was a little confused whether they should go for a tackle or not. It took a while for the defence to get set and till then only the raiders were scoring. If we could have defended better, we would have had a lead right from the start. The plan in the second half was to strengthen the defence and they delivered by picking up a few tackle points. The raiders too tightened their game from there and we were able to form a good combination.
Q. What do you think went wrong for your team today?
Rakesh Kumar: The defence was a little hasty today which made the difference.
Q. Do you think your defence was not up to the mark today?
Rakesh Kumar: Both, the defence and the raiders, made errors. Our team made the pace of the match faster than necessary. The defence got hasty and then the raiders followed suit. All I can say is that the team lost their way in the second half.
Q. Dharmaraj, you went for a tackle against Rahul Chaudhari with your team leading 24-20 and he got two points. Do you think that was the turning point of the match?
Dharmaraj Cheralathan: That is certainly one of the places where the match changed. There was no support from the back and he was able to turn around and reach the mid-line. Our raiders also weren’t able to hold their position when we had a defence of six, which was the plan. The Cover played a little outside which pushed me further to the side and that mistake cost us.