Patna Pirates came out 38-35 winners over Dabang Delhi K.C. in the penultimate game of the Mumbai leg at the Dome@NSCI SVP Stadium on Thursday. Representing Patna Pirates at the post-match press conference were captain Pardeep Narwal and coach Ram Mehar Singh. Taking questions for Dabang Delhi K.C. were captain Joginder Narwal and coach Krishan Kumar Hooda.
Q: It was a close game which could have swung either way. What do you have to say?
Ram Mehar Singh: Absolutely, the game could have gone either way until the last two minutes. However, we were confident since the beginning that if we defended like we defended in our previous game, then we would win the match. Our raiders have done their job in most of the matches we have played so far, however, we are trying to work on bettering our defence.
Q: Do you think Pardeep Narwal was aiming for Vishal Mane today?
Ram Mehar Singh: That’s how Pardeep Narwal usually raids. Vishal Mane was playing Left Cover today, so he was on Pardeep Narwal’s radar. Vishal Mane was looking for advanced tackles as he didn’t want to give the bonus point away. That played to Pardeep Narwal’s strength and hence he got more touch points on Vishal Mane.
Q: Any comments on Dabang Delhi K.C.?
Ram Mehar Singh: Dabang Delhi K.C. played well. They scored almost as many raid points as us. Naveen Kumar is a brilliant raider. He played almost as well as Pardeep Narwal did and single-handedly kept them in the game. Naveen has a 90-95% strike rate in the closing stages and we were able to keep him quiet, which is where I think we won the game.
Dabang Delhi K.C.
Q: Brilliant match today but you couldn’t get over the line. What do you have to say?
Krishan Kumar Hooda: We have been done in many times by the opponent’s brilliance rather than our own faults. We were leading by three points with two minutes to go. There is no explanation for this loss. We suffered an All-Out very close to the end of the game and that was the point of no return for us.
Q: How do you view this match?
Joginder Narwal: It was a very exciting match. However, towards the end, our defence committed a few errors. That is where we suffered.
Q: Naveen Kumar performed brilliantly once again. What do you have to say about him?
Krishan Kumar Hooda: I have used this platform to say this earlier as well, and today I will reiterate the fact that this season Dabang Delhi K.C. will do something special. Naveen Kumar is a very special player who is going to become a star of Indian kabaddi. He is a very talented and disciplined young man. He follows whatever is told to him. His career is going to be very fruitful.