A magnificent comeback in the dying moments of Match 73 saw Dabang Delhi K.C. defeat Jaipur Pink Panthers by a scoreline of 46-44 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday. At the post-match press conference, coach Krishan Kumar Hooda and skipper Joginder Singh Narwal took questions for Dabang Delhi K.C. while Jaipur Pink Panthers were represented by coach Srinivas Reddy and captain Deepak Niwas Hooda.
Dabang Delhi K.C.
Q. Did you feel at any point that the match had slipped away?
Krishan Kumar Hooda: Kabaddi is played for 40 minutes. And anything can happen till the final whistle. Dabang Delhi K.C. takes pride in fighting till the final whistle. It’s not about winning or losing. No team will win all of their matches. But belief is everything. Even when we were down by four with just over 30 seconds left, we had faith that we would win. We kept fighting till the end and the result is evident.
Q. Eighth straight win. Thoughts?
Joginder Singh Narwal: Like everyone has been saying since the start of the season, this is the toughest season of vivo Pro Kabaddi. And today we had one of our toughest challenges. We were following the gameplan but weren’t able to execute it to perfection. Towards the end, both our offence and defence came through to get us the win. I told Naveen (Kumar), who had been tackled a couple of times that don’t worry, you will get a successful raid. And he did. And got us the win.
Q. Have your prior experiences of winning close contests this season helped in any way today?
Joginder Singh Narwal: The coach has taught me an invaluable lesson. Prefer dying on the mat than surrendering when the chips are down. That mindset has rubbed off on the rest of the squad as well and that’s the message I try repeating on the mat. That is how we play, that has been the key to our success and we will continue in the same vein for the remainder of the season.
Jaipur Pink Panthers
Q. Coach, what went wrong?
Srinivas Reddy: I am a bit speechless. You all witnessed what happened out there. We made a couple of errors in the last minute or so and that cost us the game. We played an excellent match and the young boys in our team stood out. But, the errors due to inexperience cost us the match.
Q. What happened during Naveen's decisive two-point raid?
Srinivas Reddy: We went in for an advanced tackle when the onus was on the raider to score. So instead of holding a deep line, our defenders went in and tried to tackle him and he managed to score two points.
Q. What do you make of the team's attacking style of play in the match?
Deepak Niwas Hooda: The played brilliantly for the majority of the match because of their natural aggression and fearless attitude. But towards the end, we didn’t keep our wits and we ended up losing. That happens when the team isn’t as experienced.