Pardeep Narwal's belligerent raiding and the absence of key players from the opposition were key to Patna Pirates’ crushing 47-21 win over Jaipur Pink Panthers on Tuesday, according to Patna coach Ram Mehar Singh.
Jaipur went down to Patna by 26 points at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium in Kolkata in the first match of the second Inter Zone Challenge Week in which Pardeep scored a season-best 21 points, a tally the Panthers managed collectively as a team.
"Winning with such a margin gives us motivation," Ram Mehar Singh said, "There should be a sense of control within the team and Pardeep showed that control. Not only did he play well but as a leader he ensured that the team performed too."
Pardeep began his onslaught right from the start. Not only did he open the Pirates’ account on the night but his four-point super raid in the sixth minute also led to the opposition's early All-Out. Jaipur never recovered after that.
"Pardeep is Pardeep. The more I say about him, the less it would be," Ram Mehar Singh continued, "He’s strong and he's got the heart of a high-class sportsman. These kind of players are rare, be it in cricket, kabaddi or football. He is fearless in any situation."
During the match, the Patna captain also became the first player to cross 100 points in VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5, taking just nine games to reach the milestone. Star raiders Rahul Chaudhari and Rohit Kumar are next on the list with 90 points each but with 12 and 10 matches respectively. Pardeep's 21 points in the match also eclipsed the Season 5 record of 19, which he himself had set against Puneri Paltan last month.
"I break my own records," Pardeep asserted after the match before adding, "Pardeep will break his own records, no one else can."
Patna’s huge win was also helped by the injury-forced absence of Jaipur’s experienced hands, star all-rounder Manjeet Chhillar and raider Jasvir Singh. "When there's Manjeet, there's control in the team," Ram Mehar Singh pointed out.
“Jasvir fetched a lot of points in the last few games. We had strategised for Jasvir but he wasn't on the mat [today]. We liked that because there was one less senior player. No one would want all the strong players in the opposition, I'm saying this openly. Then one of their best raiders, Selvamani K, is also injured.
"We were expecting the game to turn out in our favour but we didn't expect it to be one-sided. This was all because of Pardeep. And our team was in control," he concluded.