Following a comprehensive victory in the last league stage fixture of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 6 against Bengal Warriors, U.P. Yoddha made it through to their second straight Playoffs appearances. Coach Jasveer Singh shed some light on the team’s strategy in the later stage of their campaign that saw them come from behind and bag the final Playoffs spot from Zone B.
“After our tough run of results, I and the assistant coach got the team together and told them not to worry about the results of the upcoming games; just to play with pride and give their best,” he explained, “The idea was to play according to the match situation and not think of winning or losing since the performance on the mat will decide that.”
It was a strategy that worked wonders as the side ended up winning five of their final six encounters on the way to making their second straight Playoffs appearance. With the team on the ascendency, captain Rishank Devadiga felt that sticking to their winning strategy was key for the team up ahead as well.
“What worked for us in the final half a dozen fixtures of the campaign was the fact that we took it one game at a time,” said Devadiga, “Our upcoming match is against U Mumba and we’ll plan meticulously for that fixture. We have found a formula that works and the entire team is united in executing it. So, we want to continue in the same vein.”
Veteran Cover Jeeva Kumar, who has been a part of a VIVO Pro Kabaddi title-winning team in the past knows what it takes for a team to go all the way and said that U.P. Yoddha have it in them to reach the title in Season 6 after their confidence-boosting effort in the closing stages of the league fixtures.
However, even though the team has three front-line raiders in their ranks, he insisted that the team must be cautious against relying too heavily on the raiders to do a bulk of the scoring.
“To win in the Playoffs, a team has to perform well on both sides of the mat. If the raiders score a point, the defence has to ensure that they protect it. If the defenders start protecting the lead, the pressure is eased on the raiders”, said Kumar.
U.P. Yoddha will now hope they have the keys to upstage U Mumba in Eliminator 1 after having beaten them during the Kolkata leg of the campaign. The two teams will meet for the third time in Season 6 in Kochi on Sunday.