Telugu Titans leapfrogged Tamil Thalaivas in the vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 7 standings after a 35-30 win over them at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Monday. Minutes after the final whistle, Telugu Titans’ coach Gholamreza Mazandarani, assistant coach Jagdish Kumble, ‘Baahubali’ Siddharth Desai and Vishal Bhardwaj were at the post-match press conference, while coach E Bhaskaran and V Ajith Kumar faced the media from the Tamil Thalaivas camp.
Q. Coach, was your team targeting Manjeet Chhillar while raiding?
Gholamreza Mazandarani: Manjeet Chhillar always tries to catch raiders but if a raider uses variations like not going direct or a little slow and fast, sometimes there is chances of success because he makes mistakes. Our raiders stuck to that plan and went in for touches and he made mistakes because we played according to our plan.
Q. How important is this win for the team?
Gholamreza Mazandarani: We have to win every match from now on if we want to climb the standings. All games are important but in the last match against Puneri Paltan, a few of our players may have been taking it lightly. We started that game badly and had no chance of a comeback. But in this game, everyone was focused and thinking about a positive result. We will have to approach the next match in the same manner, if we want to qualify for the playoffs.
Q. Vishal, are you confident about qualifying for the playoffs?
Vishal Bhardwaj: We began the season with a lot of mistakes. Our coach told us about those errors, and we have worked on rectifying them in practice. We worked hard, listened to the coach and I think that is why we have improved and are playing better. Both offence and defence is doing well and we hope to continue doing the same in the upcoming games and go further in the league.
Q. Coach, why didn’t Ajay Thakur play today?
E Bhaskaran: Ajay has been ill since yesterday, so we had to rest him. As a result of resting him, we had to reset our team. So, we gave other players who didn’t get a chance to play much up until now an opportunity to impress and V Ajith Kumar took full advantage of that. He played well and it was a close game, but we repeated the same mistakes in the last few minutes that we have been making in the previous matches. So, the team played well, but we let slip in the last few minutes once again.
Q. Why wasn’t V Ajith Kumar used in do-or-die raids when he was clearly the best raider today?
E Bhaskaran: You are right about him having momentum on his side as the best raider in the game, but he sprained his ankle. Hence, we had to take him off court momentarily for treatment. Once he returned to the mat, he went in for raids and gave his best. Shabeer Bappu also got us some important points, but Rahul Chaudhari is not scoring as many points as we expect of him. That became a problem for us, and we had to keep using Ajith, who did well.Are you concerned with the performance of your Corners?
E Bhaskaran: That is one of our problems because we are making mistakes in crucial moments and it is costing us wins. So, I had warned (our Corners) about not advance tackling raiders like Siddharth Desai and to control themselves. But we did not do that, and it changed the complexion of the contest.