A scintillating first-half display, that saw them inflict two All-Outs, followed by some good work from the offence and defence in the second helped Dabang Delhi K.C. beat Bengaluru Bulls 44-38 in Semi-final 1 on Wednesday to make it to the final. Raider Naveen Kumar scored his 20th consecutive Super 10 while, in defence, Cover defender Anil Kumar scored four tackle points.
Coach Krishan Kumar Hooda, the architect behind Dabang Delhi K.C.'s rise in the past two campaigns, took joy in his team's victory but, like always, demanded more from them as well.
“I’m happy but not satisfied. I cannot be satisfied. There is always room for improvement and there’s always something we can work on. I believe there is more to come from this team,” he said after his team's victory over Bengaluru Bulls on Wednesday.
After a promising campaign last year that saw them break their playoffs duck, Dabang Delhi K.C. took a step further this season and have made it to their first vivo Pro Kabaddi final. While the star of the show has undoubtedly been Naveen, the team's other raiders have also contributed immensely to the team's success.
One such contributor was Chandran Ranjit, who earned high praise from the coach for his performance in the semi-final.
“We have played Ranjit in 21 out of our 23 matches this season. That really says it all, doesn’t it? We have a lot of faith in him and his abilities, and he has been a brilliant performer for us,” said Hooda.
According to team captain Joginder Narwal, the team had immense belief right from the training camp that they would find themselves in contention for the title.
“We lost in the playoffs last year due to some uncharacteristic errors. And this year, the coach analysed those mistakes, made us work on them while instilling belief in us that it would be us hoisting the trophy this year,” said Narwal.
Dabang Delhi K.C. established themselves as one of the frontrunners for the vivo Pro Kabaddi title right from the start of the campaign and, after their victory over the reigning champions on Wednesday, only one more win stands in the way of their maiden vivo Pro Kabaddi title.