Patna Pirates managed their second straight win this campaign as they beat U.P. Yoddha 43-37 on Sunday. Patna Pirates captain Pardeep Narwal and coach Ram Mehar Singh took questions in the post-match press conference for their team while Rishank Devadiga and coach Jasveer Singh turned up for U.P. Yoddha. Here is what they had to say.
Q. Second consecutive win for Patna Pirates. Your team played like a champion team and looked better in all aspects. Do you think you are favourites?
Ram Mehar Singh: All teams are equal even though they have a new look. Tamil Thalaivas defeated us, U.P. Yoddha defeated Tamil Thalaivas and now we’ve beaten U.P. Yoddha twice. Every team has its highs and lows, so it is very difficult to say which team is the favourite.
Q. Do you think your raiders played a bigger role in today’s game?
Ram Mehar Singh: We have one of the best raiders in the world and he always gets us points. But we have to look at the other team’s raiders as well and not only their defence. Shrikant Jadhav put in an excellent raid and got 6 points against us. However, our defenders didn’t get demoralised even after that. In the end, it’s the team performance that counts more than a single department’s.
Q. How much does it affect your team’s confidence knowing that you have one of the best raiders in the world?
Ram Mehar Singh: The team’s confidence increases as and when we win games. Also, Pardeep Narwal tries to perform better when he has a strong defence up against him. The team’s morale automatically goes up when one player does so well.
Q. You only played with two raiders today for most of the night. Was that by design?
Rishank Devadiga: Yes, we planned to play with an extra defender to ensure we can curtail their attempts to score bonus points. It was our strategy to play the match with two raiders and that worked well to an extent. We managed to stop Pardeep Narwal from picking up bonus points, but we couldn’t do the same for Deepak Narwal and Manjeet. And that cost us the game.
Q. What positives can you take from the previous two games?
Rishank Devadiga: We lost a couple of matches but that’s a part of the game. More importantly, we’ve been losing by close margins and that is mostly down to some of the inexperience we have in defence. We’ll address that issue and improve in that area so the results will follow in the upcoming matches.
Q. Your team is playing against Bengal Warriors next who boast of quality raiders like Jang Kun Lee and Maninder Singh. What will your strategy be in defence against these two raiders?
Jasveer Singh: We defended quite well today in the first half. But somewhere at the start of the second half, we seemed to have lost our way a little. If you look at the stats, Pardeep Narwal, who is very efficient at picking up bonus points wasn’t given too many of them. I feel we’ll only get better with the amount of game time our defence is getting together. We’ll iron out the errors that we are committing. As far as Jang Kun Lee and Maninder Singh go, both are excellent raiders and bring their own unique style to the table. But we’ll get together and strategise to minimise their impact.