An outstanding second-half display saw Gujarat Fortunegiants win their second game of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 6 in the Inter-Zone Challenge Week by a scoreline of 36-25 against Tamil Thalaivas at the Patliputra Indoor Stadium in Patna. In the post-match press conference, coach Manpreet Singh, captain Sunil Kumar and Sachin took questions for Gujarat Fortunegiants, while Tamil Thalaivas were represented by coach E Bhaskaran.
Q. Any thoughts on your team’s performance?
Manpreet Singh: We have young players who have played exceedingly well at the junior and sub-junior levels. Youth brings inexperience and inexperience stems nerves. Once those nerves were settled, the team has been cohesive and the chemistry looked great. So I’m pleased.
Q. Any thoughts on Sachin?
Manpreet Singh: My job is to push these players to perform at the top of their game. In the past few games, I felt he could have done better so we’ve worked on some things in his game and I’m glad he’s responded with a performance like this. We’ve worked with him for a long time and currently, there is absolutely no weakness in his game. Speed, strength, stamina; he’s the complete package. All he needs is a little motivation. The rest he does on his own.
Q. You managed to neutralise experienced players like Jasvir Singh and Manjeet Chhillar in defence. Your thought on your performance?
Sachin: The coach had a specific gameplan for me and all I had to do was execute it. He told me to think of raids having a 20 second time limit and thereby be quick in getting a touch point. It definitely worked for me tonight. I don’t feel any intimidation going up against the legends of the game. I’m pleased with my performance.
Q. Next match against Puneri Paltan. How will you approach this game?
Manpreet Singh: We are a confident side and we’ve already beaten them at their home, so that’s even more encouragement for our team. They are playing after a home leg and hence we’ve enough footage to analyse the players in their team. They have the top raider of Season 6, Nitin Tomar, who is capable of scoring 12-13 points on his own. But we have excellent Corners so we’ll be sure to be at the top of our game to ensure we get another win.
Q. Any thoughts on the result and the team’s form?
E Bhaskaran: At the start of the campaign, the defence was giving away one too many points and we rectified that over the Pune leg. Today, the first half was extremely competitive but at the start of the second we gave away a few points and were chasing the game from that point on.
Q. So what went wrong in the second half?
E Bhaskaran: In the first half, we were raiding quite well and staying in touch with the score while dictating the flow of the game. In the second half, their defence put in an outstanding shift and that was the telling difference in the game. Their defence was water-tight, so props to them.
Q. Eight matches, two wins. How do you analyse the next game?
E Bhaskaran: The next game is against U.P. Yoddha who have a fantastic raiding trio. So it’s going to be up to us to cut their raid point supply and stay focused throughout the match. They have Rishank Devadiga who is a gamechanger and it’s going to crucial for us to ensure that he doesn’t have a big performance to boost our chances of winning.