Vikash Khandola had a good opening match against U Mumba this past Sunday. He had a huge responsibility on his shoulders, going into the game as one of the main raiders for his team Haryana Steelers, one of the four debutants this season. He could have been forgiven for buckling in light of the enormity of the occasion but he astonishingly managed to stay calm and deliver with gusto. “It was a tough match and we fought well but in the closing minutes we had lapses in concentration which led to our eventual loss,” the youngster told while reflecting on Sunday’s 29-28 loss before adding, “We have prepared really well for our next match against Gujarat [on Wednesday] and I’m confident we will come out on top.”

Wazir Singh and Khandola kept the scoreboard ticking for Haryana Steelers in the attack department, scoring 6 points each, and were instrumental in keeping the team in the hunt till the very end. Khandola owed his success to Wazir’s guidance. “It feels great to play with experienced players who are always willing to guide me on my game. The seniors in the team told me to back my abilities during do-or-die raids and try to score in the first 15-20 seconds which worked,” said Khandola, “Wazir Singh in particular guides me a lot and tells me how to go about raiding in a particular situation. He explains when I should go for a bonus and when I can try for touch points, which boosts my confidence.”

Ahead of the match against Gujarat, Khandola also issued an important message to all kabaddi fans in Haryana. “I want to tell all the kabaddi fans from Haryana that Haryana Steelers is your home team, so please come out in large numbers and support our campaign this year,” he concluded.