Eliminator 1 of the vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 7 playoffs saw the first-ever tiebreaker being played in league history as Bengaluru Bulls rode on ‘Hi-Flyer’ Pawan Sehrawat’s 20-point performance to win 48-45 at the EKA Arena by TransStadia in Ahmedabad on Monday. At the post-match press conference, Sehrawat, Rohit and coach Randhir Singh took questions for Bengaluru Bulls, while coach Jasveer Singh, skipper Nitesh Kumar and raider Rishank Devadiga answered reporters for U.P. Yoddha.
Q. Pawan, what was the strategy to help you win the match?
Pawan Sehrawat: My confidence was quite low after I got Super Tackled twice. That is when the coach told me that every raider goes through this and it will be me who ultimately wins the team the match. He told me not to get so pressurised by the situation and to keep going for it even if I get caught. The coach’s word gave me a lot of confidence and then Rohit Kumar also came on the mat and inspired me to do better. There was a point where I told the coach that my raids aren’t working so we may lose the match, but he held firm on his stance and that helped me find my feet.
Q. Did a lack of early success tonight get to you?
Pawan Sehrawat: It obviously affects a raider’s morale when he is tackled multiple times. We had covered huge deficits and managed to win matches earlier and that is what the coach kept reminding me of.
Q. Rohit, what was your role on the mat tonight?
Rohit Kumar: My role was mainly to explain things to the players and ensure they carry out the strategy properly. The coach told me when I was on the bench that the players aren’t able to execute the strategy effectively, so he sent me on. He told me that my performance isn’t as important if we win the match. Even though I scored just one raid point, I had to ensure that the team supported Pawan well. So, I just had to ensure my presence on the mat.
Q. Coach, thoughts on the tight finish?
Jasveer Singh: It was a good match for the spectators but not for us since we lost. The defence has been playing so well but it conceded points at vital junctures today.
Q. What do you think went wrong tonight?
Jasveer Singh: If our defence had not made mistakes when they did, we would have definitely inflicted another All Out and could have had the match in the bag. I had a lot of trust in the defence but they let us down tonight and that cost us.
Q. What did you think of tonight’s performance?
Jasveer Singh: It was a tight match. Bengaluru Bulls is a champion team and Pawan Sehrawat is one of the best raiders in the league. We could not afford to make any mistakes against him. The errors our defence made is the main reason we lost.
Q. Nitesh, what was the strategy tonight?
Nitesh Kumar: The strategy was to play defensively and not make mistakes by playing too far ahead or making advanced tackles. That is what the coach told us, and we tried to follow that as much as possible.