The Telugu Titans team would be a dejected lot after Tuesday’s game. This was their third straight loss this season after a comfortable win against Tamil Thalaivas in the opening game. The players and coach will definitely have some introspection to do as they enter the last two days of their home leg. Coach Naveen Kumar conceded that the team’s morale was affected but also drew some positives from their 31-18 hiding at Hyderabad’s Gachibowli Indoor Stadium.
“Our confidence has been hit but not in a way where we can’t bounce back. If we had lost after performing badly it would be another case but it is strategic errors more than individual player performances that have let us down,” said the coach at the post-match press conference, “Rakesh Kumar and Vikas have been supporting Rahul Chaudhari well but since we are losing only our weaknesses are coming in the spotlight.”
U.P. Yoddha coach J Udaya Kumar, meanwhile, revealed what worked for his team. “Playing a team at their home stadium, in front of their fans is always tough. If the home team gets off to a flying start it becomes difficult to control them so we played a slow, controlled game at the start. Only in the second half after the players had settled down did we up the pace and go for a more aggressive strategy,” he said.
Earlier in the day, another debutant Gujarat Fortunegiants took out a much-fancied Dabang Delhi K.C. outfit, who were high on confidence after their opening win against Jaipur Pink Panthers. Winning captain Sukesh Hegde admitted he had initial jitters since he was leading a side for the first time but they soon subsided.
Coach Manpreet Singh was also happy with the team’s performance and was hopeful that they can keep the intensity going. “All our team members including the foreign players attended our pre-tournament camp which helped us form a good combination. I only hope this combination stays intact for the rest of the season and we are able to make the final,” he said after a 26-20 win over Delhi.
Meanwhile, senior defender Nilesh Shinde from the Dabang Delhi K.C. team conceded that their opponents outdid them on the day. “Their defence was well settled so our raiders couldn’t get any points early in the game. Meanwhile, their raiders kept getting points which meant there was pressure on us right from the start. Their defenders kept overcoming our raiders because of which the match started to slip out of our hands, and after a point it was too difficult for us to recover,” he said.