Led by Deepak Hooda’s Super 10 and Sandeep Dhull’s High 5, Jaipur Pink Panthers registered a 37-21 victory over Haryana Steelers at the Dome, NSCI, SVP Stadium' in Mumbai on Wednesday. In the post-match press conference, Deepak Hooda, Srinivas Reddy and Sandeep Dhull represented Jaipur Pink Panthers, while Haryana Steelers were represented by Coach Rakesh Kumar and Dharmaraj Cheralathan.
Jaipur Pink Panthers
Q. What do you think of Sandeep Dhull’s performance today?
Srinivas Reddy: I think Sandeep Dhull has the calibre to represent the country going forward. I count him among the top Left Corners in India right now. He is so young, passionate and down-to-Earth - that is a really good thing about this boy. His performance keeps improving every season. Since he was playing with Telugu Titans in Season 4, he has been delivering consistent performances and the result is for all to see today. Deepak Hooda is our strike raider and Sandeep carries the defence. I think the other players contributed well too. It was a team effort and I hope the team keeps delivering in this manner.
Q. Deepak, you picked up a lot of Bonus points between the Cover and Corner today. Was that a strategy you had made against Haryana Steelers?
Deepak Hooda: I know what my strengths are. I was consistently trying for Bonus points between the Cover and the Corner. I had prepared them for the Running Hand Touch earlier which made them play long and made it easier for me to pick up the Bonus. I played according to the situation. I think if you score well and the team is performing you automatically get energised. I feel one should always go into a match with the intention of winning no matter what and that is what helps me perform.
Q. How do you see this loss?
Rakesh Kumar: We tried a few advanced tackles at the start which affected our momentum. We weren’t able to capitalise on the defence of five. The All-Out added more pressure on the team. If we could have avoided the All-Out we might have come out ahead. Our raiders got tackled even when they weren’t in Do-or-Die situations, which is another reason we lost.
Q. Tell us something about Sunil’s performance.
Rakesh Kumar: We gave Sunil a chance in this match and he played really well. The plan we had made of playing Sunil in the Right Corner and captain (Dharmaraj Cheralathan) in the Left Corner worked to a large extent. However, though Sunil played well, the entire defence as a unit was not able to deliver. We had to pay for the mistakes we made at crucial junctures. Otherwise, if we would have played more patiently, then we could have brought the match down to the wire. But one learns from their mistakes in the sport of kabaddi and now we will analyse where we went wrong.
Q. What do you think of Naveen’s performance today after he had two successful games previously?
Rakesh Kumar: It’s not like he had any additional pressure or responsibility because he played well in the previous two matches. It happens at times that a raider is not able to deliver. Of course, we do look to him to perform and hopefully he will get back to form in the coming match.