New-comers Haryana Steelers have been one of the form teams of Zone A this season having been undefeated in their last five matches with three wins and two ties. A strong defence and fearless raiders have ensured that the Steelers have not been overawed by the opposition and occasion in their maiden campaign in VIVO Pro Kabaddi, the grandest stage for the sport.
Skipper Surender Nada, who has been one of the best defenders this year, believes the ability to learn quickly from mistakes has set his team apart. “We lost our first match [against U Mumba], that was our mistake, but we got something to learn from it. As we have progressed, we have managed to learn something from it and that builds up our confidence. Because when the team wins a match, the players' confidence rises. Whatever mistakes we have committed in the earlier matches will not be repeated,” Nada told prokabaddi.com in an exclusive interview recently.
One of the main strengths for the Steelers this season has been their strong and resolute defence with Nada and Mohit Chhillar playing key roles in the corner positions. Nada though believes that it has been a complete team effort with youngsters Neeraj Kumar and Rakesh Singh Kumar also playing their part in defence. “My team is doing well. The full squad. Like our corners Rakesh and Neeraj. Neeraj is young and he is playing Pro Kabaddi for the first time. Rakesh has played Pro Kabaddi before, he has a bit of experience, he does a lot of saves for the team. Both play near the corners and cover us well,” he said.
Another youngster in the team that has been making the headlines, albeit in attack, is young Vikas Kandola, who has been one of the revelations of the season. Commenting on Kandola’s performances this year, Nada said: “Vikas is a young player, so makes small mistakes here and there but he has been performing very well. We have put a lot of trust in him. Because he is playing continuously for the first time, so that builds his confidence. So, when he gets tackled, we tell him that it's alright and that we'd get a tackle too [to revive him]. That there's no need to get tensed. We keep encouraging so that there's no pressure.”