Telugu Titans ended their home leg with a 41-36 win over Patna Pirates at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Vizag on Thursday. Rahul Chaudhari’s Super 10 played a key role in their victory. Representing Telugu Titans at the post-match press conference were captain Vishal Bhardwaj, assistant coach Sai Prasad and Rahul Chaudhari. Coach Ram Mehar Singh took questions for Patna Pirates.
Q: What was your strategy in today’s game?
Rahul Chaudhari: This game was a do-or-die game for us. We had to keep this in mind all through the game and raid and defend accordingly. In the previous matches, I looked to play on the do-or-die raids, but I hadn’t been very successful. Today, I was given a free hand to play as I wanted. We had our coach K Jag Mohan back for today’s game and both coaches told us what mistakes we were making. We played according to our strategy today, and importantly didn’t play on the do-or-die raids.
Q: Were you looking to adopt an aggressive style of play for today’s match?
Sai Prasad: Yes, we wanted every raid to be aggressive. We have had success with this before and adopted it today as well. However, energy levels are very important when playing aggressively. Once the raiders are doing well, the defence automatically does well. We needed our defence to do well to contain Pardeep Narwal and for that our offence had to perform very well and they did.
Q: What was your message to the team before the match?
Sai Prasad: We had our final training session in the morning where we did the video analysis. On the basis of the video analysis, after the team management had spoken to the team, the senior players- Rahul Chaudhari, Vishal Bhardwaj, Abozar Mohajermighani - spoke to the team and came up with a combined decision to play aggressively. We have three matches left and only if we win all three will we stand a chance of going ahead into the Playoffs. We just told our raiders that every raid is a do-or-die raid and to play accordingly.
Q: What do you have to say about the game?
Ram Mehar Singh: Crucial mistakes were made in defence today. Pardeep Narwal was also kept quiet in the first half. Had the defence controlled the game, we would have been alive going into the last raid. Defence has been an area of issue for us all throughout. Our Covers and Right Corner were issues for us today as well.
Q: Telugu Titans won the previous two matches between the sides this season. Was there pressure on your team to perform?
Ram Mehar Singh: There was no pressure per say. However, when you lose two games to a side, your motivation does go down a little. Pardeep Narwal had been kept quiet in those games as well.
Q: How does this loss affect your qualification run?
Ram Mehar Singh: We need to win three out of our four remaining games to qualify for the Playoffs. If we win three games, then we shouldn’t have any problems going through. Telugu Titans have three games remaining and Bengal Warriors have their home leg remaining, so they know their situations to qualify. We need to win three games anyhow.