Raiding duo Shrikant Jadhav and Prashanth Kumar Rai combined to score 14 raid points as they led U.P. Yoddha to a 29-23 win at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune. In the post-match press conference U.P. Yoddha were represented by captain Rishank Devadiga and coach Jasveer Singh while raider Nitin Tomar and coach Ashan Kumar took questions for Puneri Paltan.
Q: How important was this win?
Rishank Devadiga: This game was extremely crucial for us. We only had one win so far in this campaign and we needed to get this victory in order to get some momentum under our belt. Today everything worked out for us and we executed every aspect of the game to perfection. So I’m extremely satisfied with this big win.
Q: Any thoughts on the versatility of your raiding unit?
Rishank Devadiga: We have a fantastic combination of raiders. If we feel like the right side of the opposition can be pressured into giving away point, I take the lead in raiding. If, like today, we feel like the left side of the opposition is more susceptible, Prashanth Kumar Rai and Shrikant Jadhav do the bulk of the raiding. So, the balance is perfect and we are happy with the result.
Q: The matches have been quite close this season. Any reason why?
Rishank Devadiga: Every team is well-balanced, talented and well-coached. Hence, none of the other teams have a massive edge over the rest of the pack. So, it’s all about a team’s strategy working out on a given day.
Q: Were you surprised with the change in personnel in the opposition team?
Rishank Devadiga: Not really. We were well-prepared and had strategised for all of their key players. We played as per the strategy we had chalked down, and we got the win, so we’re pleased.
Q: What was the strategy behind the change in personnel?
Ashan Kumar: We wanted to try out a different combination and we felt today was the right match to do just that. We have a talented roster, so we wanted to ensure that we have a look at all possible combination going forward.
Q: Was there an added pressure on you to perform?
Nitin Tomar: Not really. The young players in our team have been supporting me well throughout the season in offence and did so today as well so I didn’t feel any added pressure.
Q: Akshay Jadhav and Monu have been contributing well. What are your thoughts on them?
Ashan Kumar: We are very excited about them. They are two excellent young players and we have high hopes from them.
Q: Was the change in personnel necessary considering it was the last home game of the season?
Ashan: I believe every game of the season is important and not just the home games. We needed to take a look at some of the players that we have on the bench and we felt today is a good opportunity to do just that. Some of our other players also need a rest so we made a calculated decision to make a change.